Five Common Wage and Hour Violations and How to Avoid Them

Five Common Wage and Hour Violations and How to Avoid Them

January 4, 2012 Human Resources, The Beacon Blog 0 Comments

Continuing from our last blog regarding the Department of Labor and non-compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as promised, here is our blog on 5 common wage and hour violations.  We hope this blog gives attention to potential problems and lawsuits that businesses may be unaware of.

Five common age and hour violations:

1.  Misclassification of an employee as exempt from overtime pay is the single potential greatest liability.  Many do not understand the laws of classifying employees, and doing so may have tremendous financial consequences.

2. Granting paid time off to non-exempt employees in lieu of paying overtime wages.

3. Combining and averaging work weeks to avoid paying overtime.  For example, if an
employee works 50 hours this week, and 30 hours next week, an employer cannot
average the two weeks to avoid overtime.

4. Unfair deductions from pay.  This includes traveling for work, short work breaks, and working during meal breaks.

5. Requiring or allowing work off the clock.  For example, an employer does not believe that an employee productively completed a task in a 40 hour work week, and requires the employee to work overtime without pay to complete the project.

To avoid liability exposure under FLSA and wage hour law:

1. Keep accurate records.  You’ve heard it time and time again…documentation is the key to success.  Employees and employers should both sign current time sheets to avoid confusion on hour’s works.  The need to document also falls in job descriptions, which should be updated every few months.  Having up-to-date job descriptions can and will help you make the proper classifications for your employees.

2. Be sure to pay for all hours worked; this seems obvious but is still extremely important.

3. Consistently and constantly train all managers and supervisors on FLSA and state laws.

4. Seek professional advice if you have any questions.

Updates and changes need to occur now, before you (as an employer) are paying ridiculous amounts of money on lawyers and settlements.

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