Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wage and hour checklist.

Post 476 - Based on the current French Gourmet case here in San Diego, the hiring of illegal immigrants is becoming a "hot" issue in employment practices (the federal government is asking to take over the restaurant and bakery business involved if the owner is found guilty). However, another more common but less publicized practice of interest involves whether a company's compensation practices are in line with both state and federal law. In the past, employees knew even less about the standards in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) than supervisors and managers. The internet has changed this giving employees today almost instant access to updated information. Labor relations expert Hunter Lott suggests that the following questions are worth asking (and answering) in this regard:

- Are you sure that exempt salaried employees qualify for the exemption? Exempt and non-exempt classifications are determined by people's job duties, not by how they're paid. Check out for more input on FLSA.

- Are non-exempt employees being paid overtime at one-and-a-half times their regular hourly wage? This is a federal requirement and some states may require even more.

- Are all non-exempt employees recording all hours actually worked? Signing a timecard is certifying that it's an accurate reflection of the hours worked.

- Are employees taking lunch at their desk or in their work area? If they work during lunch, the law says they have to be paid.

- Are exempt employees docked for hours not worked within a workday? It's a mistake to treat exempt like non-exempt, and in most cases, this type of docking will jeopardize the exemption.

- Is "comp time' granted in lieu of overtime? In the private sector, this may be a problem so check with legal counsel to be safe.

Make sure company practices are consistent with FLSA and state regulations when classifying and paying employees. The monetary damages can go back up to three years, in some cases, and double the damages for all current and former employees.

For more information, look up

1 comment:

Cliff Allen said...

Another issue to monitor is whether independent contractors quality for that status. If they don't meet all 20 of the IRS's guidelines they are an employee.