Shutdowns, Furloughs and Weather Delays—Wage/Hour Minefields

"Yesterday’s Advisor featured guidelines for deductions from exempt pay; today, deductions for business shutdowns and weather closings, plus an introduction to a practical guide to wage and hour compliance."

Business Shutdowns and Furloughs

It should be no surprise that many employers have sought creative work arrangements in order to weather bleak times without resorting to morale-killing layoffs. Furloughs, temporary shutdowns, and reduced-hour schedules are common workplace solutions. However, the intricacies of the FLSA make these solutions tricky.


Danger Zone—Deductions from Salaried Employees’ Pay

"When it comes to assessing an employee’s exempt status, the duties requirements get the lion’s share of attention. It’s easy to forget that the salary basis rules are nearly as complicated—and just as important."

Generally, payment on a salaried basis means that employees receive a predetermined amount of pay that can’t be reduced due to variations in the quality or quantity of their work. Employees must be paid their full salary for any week in which they:

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  • Perform any work, regardless of the number of hours or days worked; or
  • Are ready, willing, and able to work but unable to do so because no work is available.


What Changes Are Employers Making to Retirement Benefits?

"In yesterday’s Advisor, we presented the first set of results from our 2014 Retirement Benefits Survey. Today, more survey results plus an introduction to the all-things-compensation-in-one-place website,"

Changes Contemplated

Our survey shows that 9.8% of employers plan to add or make changes to their 2015 retirement benefits package, 64.9% of employers have no additions or changes planned, and 25.3% are not certain at this point in time.

For those that are planning to add or make changes to their retirement benefits, 27.4% are planning to add a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k), 403(b), or Roth 401(k), and 20.8% are planning to increase their employer match to their existing defined contribution plan, while 6.6% are planning to reduce the level of their employer match.


Retirement Benefits? Results Are In! Survey Says …

"Results are in for our 2014 Retirement Benefits Survey. Here are some highlights: "
  • 86.6% of the employers responding to our 2014 survey offer either a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings plan to employees.
  • 60.3% of the employers responding to our survey that offer a 401(k) or 403(b) plan to their employees also provide a matching contribution.
  • 41.4% of employers match employee contributions dollar-for-dollar. 31.3% go 50 cents on the dollar.
  • Other retirement benefits offered by our survey participants include: defined benefit plans (23.7%), Roth 401(k) (33.2%), 457 plan (13%), profit sharing (22.7%), stock options (3.9%), employee stock ownership plan (7.2%), union-sponsored pension plan (2.6%), and/or SIMPLE or SEP (4.3%).


Windfalls and Changing the Terms of Commission Agreements

"In yesterday’s Advisor, Attorney Allen Kato gave tips for avoiding litigation related to commission agreements. Today, more on commission vesting, plus we announce a new webinar on salary communication."

Vesting of Commissions

One particularly difficult sticking point with commission agreements is failing to define what is supposed to happen if a sale is canceled or the terms need to be renegotiated.

One solution that eliminates many problems is to state that a draw or advance becomes a vested commission only after all conditions on vesting have been removed (e.g., vested only after customer’s time to cancel has expired, and/or terms have been accepted by customer with no right of renegotiation).


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