Overtime Labor Laws — Page 10
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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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Five Philadelphia University security guards sat down in traffic to protest what they call wage theft by their employer, McGinn Security. The guards claim McGinn has failed to pay proper over­­time and illegally requires officers to commute to company offices on their own time to complete citations.
Kgb USA will pay $1.3 million to 14,568 workers across the country it misclassified as independent contractors. The company paid the ­workers piece rate for each text message they responded to, regardless of how many hours they worked.
Adhere to standard payroll practices if you want to avoid paying unnecessary overtime for otherwise exempt employees. One of those standards is to pay a set salary regardless of the quantity or quality of work performed in a particular week.
A federal court has authorized a group of employees who claim they were misclassified as exempt outside sales employees to bring a collective action alleging unpaid wages.
The owners of a Nassau County ­diner face up to four years in prison after a joint federal/state investigation found massive payroll and tax fraud at the restaurant. They pleaded guilty to several felony and misdemeanor counts alleging wage-and-hour violations and shady bookkeeping.
Freeman & Associates Contracting, a Raleigh construction firm, has agreed to pay four workers $20,000 in back wages after U.S. Department of Labor investigators determined the workers were improperly classified as independent contractors.
During a recent 12-month period, more than 7,750 FLSA wage-and-hour lawsuits were filed in federal courts, an increase of almost 10% over the preceding 12 months. The good news: There are some simple ways for employers to re­­duce the risk of wage-and-hour suits.

Retail giant Walmart has appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, asking it to overturn a $187.6 million class-action verdict issued two years ago. That decision followed a 32-day trial in 2006 that sent shock waves through the Pennsylvania employer community.

When it comes to paying hourly employees for all hours worked, the best policy is to fix any mistakes as soon as you can. Chances are, doing so will reduce your liability down the line.
Q. I work for a nonprofit organization. Several hourly employees of the organization volunteer during nonworking hours. Is that OK?
Do you have employees classified as inside sales employees? If so, you may be courting trouble unless you are absolutely sure they qualify for the exemption. That’s especially true if you also don’t track any extra hours they work.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division doesn’t want to see any funny business when it comes to accurately recording hours worked or paying employees on time. Don’t even think about manipulating payroll systems. Doing so will result in double damages going back three years.

Q. We have an hourly worker who oversees both the maintenance and housekeeping departments and supervises two employees. In this job, he has the authority to hire and fire. However, he is also a “working” supervisor who performs maintenance in and around the property. Can his status be changed to salary/exempt?
Garner-based KBE Landscaping will pay $14,651 in back pay to 33 em­­ployees after a Department of Labor investigation revealed the company failed to properly pay overtime to its hourly workers.
Cyrilla Landscaping in Coraopolis, outside Pittsburgh, has agreed to pay $39,091 in back wages to 29 workers following a DOL investigation—plus another $39,091 because the feds found the violations were willful.
Q. Can we use a time clock for exempt employees? If not, how can we have a record of their hours worked? 
Before you settle an FLSA claim for what you might consider “peanuts,” remember that any settlement will probably include court-authorized legal fees that you will have to pay to the employee’s lawyers. That’s because any success in collecting unpaid overtime or minimum wages also means the employee who wins that money is entitled to have his legal fees paid.
Here’s incentive to give managers more control over their own schedules. It could prevent one dis­­gruntled employee from turning a simple lawsuit into a class action that covers everyone else with a similar job. That might make the difference between a small verdict and a huge one.
Some employers think they can ignore federal wage-and-hour rules because they are small and don’t hit the $500,000 annual sales volume required to be covered by the FLSA. That rarely works because merely engaging in interstate commerce by using uniforms and cleaning supplies may be enough.
Genter’s Detailing in Frisco, Texas, has agreed to pay $22,345 to its employees follow­ing a DOL Wage and Hour Division investigation. The in­­vestigation revealed that the car wash and auto detailer regularly reduced the wages of 53 current and former employees by $200 to $400 for costs allegedly associated with damage to vehicles under their care.
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