Post Date: May 3rd, 2012
Every employer, regardless of company size, must comply with basic employment laws that regulate wage and hour factors. At a time when litigation and agency investigations are ramping up, getting a good grasp of fundamental wage and hour information and tools is especially important.
- Assure that all employees are earning at least the minimum wage at either the state or federal level, whichever is higher.
- Specify the seven day “work-week” that will be used for overtime calculations.
- Verify that the frequency of pay days conform to your state’s requirements.
- Make sure that any requirement of “direct deposit” of wages is permitted in your state.
- Determine each position’s non-exempt or exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or any relevant state equivalent.
- Ensure that overtime is being calculated and paid correctly based on the state and federal requirement for the payment of overtime on a daily and/or weekly basis.
- Ensure that the overtime rate is being calculated correctly based on the “regular” rate of pay.
- Verify whether there are any state requirements for mandatory meal and rest breaks. If so, verify that non-exempt staff is adhering to the requirements.
- Train non-exempt staff and supervisory personnel on the requirements to accurately complete time reporting records such as time sheets.
- Assure that the final payment of wages to terminating employees are in accordance with your state’s final paycheck requirements, including any payment of unused vacation time.
- Make sure that any non-standard deductions to paychecks such as uniform expenses, expenses for tools, etc. are authorized in writing by employees and are in conformance with your state’s wage and hour regulations.
- Double check if federal and state labor law posting requirements have been satisfied.
Top 5 Tips
- Familiarize yourself with the overtime exemption criteria and remember that simply because an employee is paid on a salaried basis does not automatically disqualify the employee from entitlement to overtime compensation.
- Secure and maintain signed timesheets from all nonexempt employees verifying their hours worked. Retain such timesheets for at least three (3) years.
- Avoid prorating/reducing an exempt employee’s salary based on the quantity or quality of work performed, unless such a deduction is specifically permitted under federal law.
- Familiarize yourself with the break laws that pertain to the states in which you employ personnel.
- Ensure that employees are properly classified as either W-2 employees or 1099 independent contractors in accordance with the IRS guidelines.