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A regulatory change expected to make some 5 million more employees eligible for overtime pay will take effect on the 1st of December, but employers are urged to plan now how they will cope with the change. Employers are wondering how they will be affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed new rule dramatically altering which employees can be classified exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) guarantee of overtime pay.
Employers have long used paid vacation policies as a compensation benefit and a means of enhancing employee productivity. To keep pace in a competitive hiring market, many start-ups offer employees the right to take “unlimited” paid vacation. While “unlimited vacation” policies do offer certain benefits, the law on such policies is currently undeveloped, and employers must pay careful attention to implementation and administration to minimize legal risks.
Employment policies: Do they keep organizations running smoothly? Or are they trouble waiting to happen? The answer to both questions is: sometimes. Business owners spend a lot of time working on policies they hope will lead to productive, fair workplaces. Often, though, policies can cause more problems than they solve. Adding to the dilemma, HR practitioners and legal experts don’t always agree on what makes a good policy.
Most managers think calculating overtime is simple—just take the employee’s hourly rate and multiply by 1.5. That’s one of the most common misconceptions about wages and hours, and consequently one of the most frequent violations. Overtime is 1.5 times the “regular rate,” which is often not the same as the hourly rate.
One of the most misunderstood and misapplied sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) deals with overtime and comp time. To illustrate the confusion, consider this example: you have a nonexempt salaried employee who will be working an extra six hours each week for additional training for her position. The extra hours will result in overtime hours each week. The employee is requesting comp time instead of overtime pay. Can you let her track the hours she works (including the training time) and ask her to sign a form indicating her desire to waive overtime pay and instead receive comp time? If so, should the comp time be given to her at time and a half?
With all the talk of moving the exemption status, we are seeing an up-tick in calls about managing issues with those employees who are exempt who struggle with employees straggling in late or not coming in at all is often at the top of the list of employer frustrations. The problem can lead employers to devise creative solutions, such as requiring management employees to clock in and even docking their pay when they’re late. But a solution that’s legal is more important than one that’s creative.
Why do I need to go through the steps of progressive discipline when I operate my business in an At-Will state?
We are having problems with people being tardy or not clocking in on-time. Can we charge them a fee that is less than their hourly rate to make changes to our time keeping system?
When good employees leave, their old employers don’t have to say goodbye to them without realizing some benefit. Exit interviews can provide that benefit by offering information that can help employers make recruiting, hiring, and policy decisions that will keep them desirable to current and future employees.