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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Whether or not to pay employees for on-call time comes down to one question: How many restrictions are you putting on the employees’ personal time? The EEOC says on-call time be­­comes compensable under the FLSA “when the on-call conditions are so restrictive or the calls to duty so frequent that the employee cannot effectively use on-call time for personal purposes.”

As the world of work becomes more technologically driven, some employees are seeing their job responsibilities change. Those jobs may then change from hourly to exempt under the FLSA.
Milton-based McKenzie Buick GMC has settled a dispute over minimum wage, overtime pay and tracking of employees’ hours worked. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division revealed the dealership wasn’t maintaining accurate records of the hours many of its salespeople worked.
Employees who believe they haven’t been properly paid for the time they spend getting into and out of protective gear are engaging lawyers and filing class-action lawsuits.

A unanimous California Supreme Court has ruled that California-based employers must pay out-of-state resident employees based on the provisions of the California Labor Code, even if those employees only visit the state on a limited, temporary basis. The decision is worrisome for multi­state employers because it may open the door for more employee lawsuits seeking the generous protections offered by California law.

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?

New regulations implementing the FLSA are now in effect, and they mark a significant change in federal wage-and-hour rules—and how the DOL enforces them. The new regulations were created to make FLSA regulations consistent with changes driven by other applicable federal laws. Be mindful of these new regulations and the additional burdens they impose.

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