Overtime Labor Laws

Federal overtime laws, designed to help end the exempt vs. non-exempt debate, have made things worse. To non-exempt and exempt employees, labor laws continue to confuse.

Business Management Daily can help you comply with federal overtime laws. Learn when you have to pay overtime, and when you don’t.

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Employers are now free to set the percentage of employee tips that can be placed in a tip pool. In years past, several court decisions conflicted with the U.S. Department of Labor’s position restricting the amount of tips an employer could require to be pooled. The ruling comes as part of a new regulation clarifying the tip-pooling issue and establishing notice requirements for employers that use a tip credit for tipped employees.

The FLSA can be a trap for employers that don’t properly classify their workers. In fact, getting classification wrong can lead to class-action lawsuits and large back-pay awards. And to confuse things even more, if the employer acted “willfully,” employees get those double awards going back three years. Now the 5th Circuit Court of Ap­peals has at least made it a little harder for employees to collect those damages for three years.
Q. Last week, we asked a nonexempt employee to come in 30 minutes before her regular start time to talk to her about a complaint that had come to our attention. Do we have to pay her for the time spent in discussions with management?
Q. I heard something about a new wage-and-hour smartphone app that the Department of Labor has announced. What does it mean for our company?
Find common FLSA violations you probably don't know you're making, plus how to prepare for an audit at your organization.

Courts are becoming more reluctant to authorize massive class-action lawsuits. Example: A federal court has ruled that assistant restaurant managers who believe they were misclassified must bring individual lawsuits. They can’t proceed as a class. The practical impact: Most likely, lower damages.

The fact that a worker is in this coun­try illegally does not mean he can’t file a Fair Labor Standards Act overtime lawsuit. What’s more, that case can turn into a class-action suit, representing all other similarly situated illegal workers.
In the past year, the U.S. Department of Labor has renewed its focus on combating employee misclassification, and there has been a recent significant increase in the number of wage-and-hour lawsuits. In many of these cases, workers are challenging their designation as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
As work becomes more technologically driven, employees are seeing their job responsibilities change. Be aware that technological advancements in a job can also change an em­­ployee’s status under the Fair Labor Standards Act from an exempt to a nonexempt worker—or vice versa.
Some hourly employees have begun to argue that if they begin the day with a few work emails, they should be paid for the time they spend commuting to work. Fortunately, a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals panel has nixed that argument. Had the case gone the other way, employers could have faced huge bills for paid commuting time.
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