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Audit your classifications before requiring overtime

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. What are the legal ramifications of requiring all employees to work a minimum of 45 hours a week (nine hours a day)? Everyone in the office is an exempt employee. —S.M., New Jersey

A. Do you really believe that everyone is exempt? First, you should conduct an internal wage-and-hour audit to determine which of your employees are truly exempt. Job titles don't make employees exempt. Exempt status hinges on whether an employee actually performs exempt job duties and receives a bona fide salary.

Don't put this off! Your potential liability may be growing each day because the Labor Department can force you to cough up unpaid overtime going back three years. If all your employees are truly exempt, you can require such employees to work nine hours a day. However, if you find that some should be nonexempt (hourly) employees, make sure to pay them overtime at one-and-a-half times their regular rate whenever they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

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