Wage and Hour Issues Pose a Significant Risk for Employers

wagehour_lawsOne of the most prevalent issues currently facing employers is wage and hour issues. This is due to several reasons:

  • First, there are many common misperceptions about the wage and hour laws, which cause employers to inadvertently stumble into trouble.
  • Second, a changing or growing workforce can quickly turn what was lawful into an unlawful situation and/or can cause employers to overlook potential pitfalls.
  • Third, the exposure in these cases can be significant and oftentimes is not covered by insurance. The exposure can be significant for a few reasons. Back wages add up quickly. Oftentimes a mistake in the handling of a personnel matter can affect more than just one employee. Wage and hour issues can also easily lead to class action lawsuits.

In light of these risks, we offer a few tips:

  • Confirm that any people classified as an independent contractor meet the definition of an independent contractor as set forth in the FLSA.
  • Confirm that any employees labelled as exempt fit within one of the narrow exemptions set forth within the FLSA
  • Make sure that all job descriptions are accurate based on the present workforce and company.
  • Ensure that non-exempt employees are being paid for all time worked, which could include them checking email at home once they leave the office and/or working over their lunch hour.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate overtime policy in effect that is monitored and enforced.