WAGE & HOUR RULES – “A BIG SOMETHNG”
month’s headline, “New Wage and Hour Rules –
Almost a Big Nothing”, seemed to have caused some confusion
as it implied that companies need not worry about making changes.
Therefore, some clarification is needed. Here are a few of
facts you should know. First, most companies are in violation
of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Second, the Department of
Labor stated its intentions of greatly increasing enforcement
efforts to ensure compliance with the new overtime regulations.
A third fact is violations are expensive. For example, ten
employees each earning $500 per week who are mistakenly classified
as exempt and work an average of 45 hours a week, will cost
the violating company $65,000 in back pay, not to mention
the hours of administrative time needed to allow wage and
hour investigators to root through records and interview employees.
The Department of Labor is not shy about handing settlements
and employees cannot waive their right to overtime compensation.
Should You Do Now?
another look at your jobs to be sure that your exempt
positions truly qualify for one of the four exemptions
under the new regulations.
Review all of the salaries of your exempt employees. Under
the new regulation, exempt employees must make at least
$455 per week or $23,660 annually.
Develop a written policy that allows employees to question
deductions from their pay. Under the new guidelines, employers
who mistakenly make improper deductions from the pay of
an employee have an opportunity to make corrections if
it is done in a timely basis. However, it is necessary
that a policy is developed and distributed to employees.
Ensure that all non exempt employees are paid for all
time worked. Time worked includes unauthorized overtime,
eating lunch at one's desk if work is performed during
the lunch break, working off the clock – like when
your loyal employee clocks out and goes back to work because
a project needs to be completed and overtime is not authorized
or requiring employees to clock out for beaks of less
than 20 minutes.
Develop written job descriptions that accurately portray
the duties, responsibilities and qualifications of each
position in your workplace.
importantly, have someone who is knowledgeable of the wage
and hour regulations take a look at your pay practices. Paying
a little now is much more cost effective than paying a whole
a great summer!