Yesterday’s Advisor featured two big-name companies—Shell Oil and LinkedIn—and their expensive wage and hour woes. Today, two more word-to-the-wise cases.
Category Archives: Wage and Hour
Answers to some common questions about paying workers plus how to comply with FLSA regulations relating to exemptions, minimum wage, and overtime.
Timekeeping and Payroll Best Practices
McCutchen suggests HR managers pay attention to the issues below. McCutchen made her comments at the SHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition, held recently in Orlando.
Causes of Off-the-Clock Claims
- Paying shift time
- Failing to capture pre- and postshift work (booting up time, preshift meeting time, etc.)
- Automatic deductions for unpaid meal breaks
- Exception time reporting
- Paper timesheets
- Inconsistent time and payroll records
Bonuses: Discretionary Versus Nondiscretionary
First, let’s take a step back and look at which bonuses will trigger the need to change overtime calculations. Not all bonuses are created equal. There are discretionary bonuses—those paid solely at employer discretion (without parameters set in advance), and there are nondiscretionary bonuses—those paid according to set criteria and paid out as soon as those criteria are achieved.
Paul Johnson Drywall Inc. and its owner, Robert Cole Johnson, have agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve wage/hour claims. The company entered into a contract with Arizona Tract LLC for the provision of drywall labor. Arizona Tract classified the workers as “member/owners” instead of as employees, which stripped them of basic worker protections afforded to employees.
Black Bear Burritos LLC Will Serve Up $232,295 in Back Wages
Black Bear Burritos LLC will pay a total of $232,295 in back wages to 105 workers employed at two restaurants located in Morgantown, West Virginia. Violations included requiring servers to participate in an illegal tip pool, or tip sharing arrangement. When notified of the violations, the company agreed to pay all back wages and to future compliance.
Here, from the pages of BLR’s Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR, are tips for training supervisors.
In trying to avoid unauthorized overtime, you’ll have to get down to where the rubber meets the road, in this case, your frontline supervisors. They have to be aware of your policies, have tools for enforcing them, and they have to resist the temptation to do things that encourage working off the clock.
This issue is the focus of many wage/hour lawsuits these days, as attorneys have come to realize that employers are easy pickings on this point. Here, from BLR’s popular guide, Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR, are tips for coping with this common challenge.
Employers think they’re covered by issuing a policy, but as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) puts it, “An announcement by the employers that no overtime will be permitted, or that overtime work will not be compensated unless authorized in advance, will not impair the employee’s right to compensation for work which he [or she] is actually suffered or permitted to perform.”
Illegal Employer Retaliation
When workers complain, and especially when low-level workers complain, many experience retaliation. For example, employers threaten to cut workers’ hours or pay, fire or suspend workers, or threaten to call immigration authorities.
Likely because of such actions, other workers report that they did not make complaints even though they had experienced a serious problem themselves. Some were afraid of losing their jobs, some were afraid they would have their hours or wages cut, and some simply thought that complaining would not make a difference.