Costly “Technical” Violations of Wage and Hour Laws

It is difficult for administrative staff with part-time H/R duties to intuit the right answer to payroll requirements under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). Properly classifying employees as “exempt” or “non-exempt”, determining payroll deductions and calculating the correct “regular rate” for overtime require technical knowledge of DOL regulations and Opinion Letters. For example, the time an employee spends on work-related travel is generally not compensable if done outside of regular work hours, but is compensable (possibly at a lower rate) if during work hours even if on weekend days. Employers should develop such payroll policies in consultation with counsel to avoid paying thousands in attorney fees to resolve minor underpayments for “technical” violations.

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