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.

To Exempt or Not to Exempt? Pitfalls and Best Practices

In yesterday’s Advisor, Attorney Kara E. Shea explained how to classify exempt employees; today, she elaborates on the perils of misclassification and what you can do to avoid damages.

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Exempt vs. Nonexempt—How Do You Decide?

With the Obama administration expected to propose new rules in early 2015 regarding overtime regulations, checking up on your current compliance status is highly recommended. One of the most costly issues for employers is misclassifying workers as exempt.

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Here We Go Again with Basic Compensation Mistakes

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.

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Once More with Feeling … and Paying

Other than paying the minimum wage, paying overtime is the most basic wage/hour rule there is, yet here are companies like Shell Oil and LinkedIn paying penalties of $4.6 and $6 Million. A word to the wise?

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Best Practices from Former Wage and Hour Administrator


"SPECIAL from SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition, Orlando In yesterday’s Advisor, Attorney Tammy D. McCutchen offered tips for avoiding wage and hour lawsuits and charges. Today, McCutchen, former administrator of the wage and hour division at the Department of Labor and principal at the Littler Mendelson law firm in Washington, D.C., offers best practices."

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

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What Overtime Violations Are Lurking in Your Timekeeping System?


"SPECIAL from SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition, Orlando An audit “is the cheapest insurance policy you will ever buy,” says Attorney Tammy D. McCutchen, former administrator of the wage and hour division at the Department of Labor and principal at the Littler Mendelson law firm in Washington, D.C."

Compliance ROI—The Cost of Noncompliance

Last year was a record year for federal court lawsuits, says McCutchen. We broke the 8,000 mark.

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Danger Zone—Discretionary and Nondiscretionary Bonuses


"Bonuses—and their impact on overtime calculations—are a focus of wage and hour enforcement. Many organizations fail to make their bonus-based overtime recalculations correctly, and that gets expensive when a large number of employees are involved."

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.

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Drywaller Plastered with $600,000 Wage/Hour Judgment


"Yesterday’s Advisor presented two instructive wage and hour cases; today, a drywall company, that, in addition to a 600,000 fine, will give public presentations about the “scourge of misclassification.”"

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.

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Wage/Hour Blunders You Can Avoid


"Wage and hour should be simple, but it’s not—expensive judgments and settlements are common, but they shouldn’t be that hard to avoid. Here are two cases that will help you avoid the expense and hassle of a wage/hour debacle."

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.

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Danger Zone: Supervisors Allowing (Demanding) Off-the-Clock Work


"Yesterday’s Advisor showed how reviewing policies and procedures can help employers curb the potentially very expensive problem of unauthorized overtime. Today, how to train your supervisors."

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.

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