FLSA: Fair Labor Standards Act
The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Download a Free Report on FLSA
| Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
"In yesterday’s Advisor, Attorney Joan Farrell clarified some of the subtleties of age discrimination, retirement, and workforce planning. Today, the delicate issue of asking directly about retirement plans, plus an introduction to the practical guide to solving wage and hour problems."
Can You Ask About Retirement Plans?
Can you ask older employees about their retirement plans? Yes, if you are careful, says BLR® Senior Legal Editor Joan Farrell. But push too hard and it starts to look like age discrimination.
If an employer has a legitimate reason, like workforce planning or succession planning, it’s not a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to ask an employee about his or her retirement plans. However, if the person asking the question does not tread carefully, there can be legal quicksand, Farrell says.
| Thursday, February 27th, 2014
"In yesterday’s Advisor, consultant Dan Kleinman explained why we need to conduct compensation audits; today, key items to include in your audit, plus we introduce a timely webinar on incentive pay plans that work."
What Is Written?
Start with the written documents, says Kleinman. What written documents relate to compensation? Who has them? Who wrote what and when? What do they say? For example:
- Plan documents
- Pay parameters
- Hiring/Bonus boundaries (approval levels, etc.)
| Thursday, February 20th, 2014
"In yesterday’s Advisor, consultant Ron Katz began his “5 T’s of Retention.” Today, the final two T’s, plus an introduction to an indispensable wage-hour audit guide."
[ go here for the first three T’s]
Training is a reward. Top people want to keep their skills up and you need them to believe that the organization cares about keeping employee skills up to date.
| Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
"The hot button as we come out of the recession is retention, says consultant Ronald Katz. It’s going to be a huge part of HR responsibilities. First, you are concerned about holding on to your most valuable assets; and then, second, about getting the highest effort out of them."
“Voluntarily Give Their Discretionary Effort”
Some employees do just enough not to get fired; that’s not going to do it for you, says Katz. You want employees to “voluntarily give their discretionary effort.” Katz, who is with Penguin Human Resource Consulting, LLC, offered his tips in a recent BLR-sponsored webinar.
Pay for Performance
| Monday, February 17th, 2014
"Performance appraisals may be time-consuming and one of management’s least-liked tasks, but they are worth the effort from a legal and an HR perspective, says Attorney Tom Makris."
Makris, senior counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and Rhoma Young, of the HR consulting firm Rhoma Young & Associates, offered tips for ensuring that performance appraisals are used legally and effectively. Their suggestions came in a recent BLR®/HR Hero® audio conference.
From a legal perspective, performance appraisals are important because they can help defend an employer against accusations of discrimination or retaliation. Performance appraisals give employees feedback so they understand the motivation behind adverse actions, Makris said. Therefore, employees are more likely to feel the employer is treating them fairly.
Wage and Hour
| Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
"In yesterday’s Advisor, BLR Legal Editor Susan Prince, JD. offered her take on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) wage and hours audits. Today, Prince’s 10 strategies for dealing with the audits, plus an introduction Compensation.BLR.com and an exclusive free FLSA checklist."
Prince’s 10 Strategies
The following are 10 great strategies to prevent or handle a wage and hour investigation:
- Avoid unfair compensation practices. Make sure employees are compensated in a consistent manner. If an employer’s pay practices are consistent, complaints are less likely to arise, and the employer will be in a better situation if the DOL does launch an investigation.
- Understand the regulations. It is important that employers take the time and make a concerted effort to understand and familiarize themselves with the FLSA. It is the law, and if employers fail to follow the law they may face litigation or a DOL audit.
- Train managers. Train managers so they are fluent in the language of the FLSA.
- Analyze state vs. federal law. Determine whether the state’s wage and hour laws conflict with federal law, then follow the law that is most beneficial to the employee.
- Pay past overtime due. If it is determined that an employee is wrongly classified as exempt, the employer should determine how many overtime hours the employee has worked in the past 2 years, then pay the employee the overtime due. The employer should also have the employee sign a release to free the employer from further liability. Paying past overtime due to employees now will be far less expensive than paying them in a DOL settlement.
- Respond to internal complaints expeditiously. If an employee files a wage and hour complaint internally, the employer should take it seriously. Since many investigations are prompted by an employee’s complaint, employers might be able to prevent an investigation by addressing an employee’s initial internal complaint.
- Seek compliance assistance from the DOL. Varied compliance tools and information are available on DOL’s website.
Wage and Hour
| Monday, February 10th, 2014
"Although no industry is immune from a wage and hour investigation, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has targeted low-wage industries with vulnerable, and often immigrant, workforces, and those industries with a history of chronic violations, including garment manufacturing, agriculture, and health care."
Although no industry is immune from a wage and hour investigation, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has targeted low-wage industries with vulnerable, and often immigrant, workforces, and those industries with a history of chronic violations, including garment manufacturing, agriculture, and health care.