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Total Articles: 14

Establishing and Reviewing a Nonexempt Employee Timekeeping System

Federal and state laws require that employers pay employees for all hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines “hours worked” broadly to include (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty, on the employer’s premises, or at a prescribed workplace; and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work, whether or not the employee is required to do so. When employees file claims for unpaid time worked, the burden is on the employer to show that all work hours have been properly recorded and paid. One way to establish a record of an employee’s time worked each shift is to use contemporaneous time records that show the precise time that the employee started and stopped work for the shift, and took extended duty-free breaks from work, like meal breaks. Companies may want to adopt the important policies and practices below.

"10% Credit" Approach Might Necessitate Timekeeping

Management need not keep hours-worked records for employees who qualify for one of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions. 29 C.F.R. § 516.3. Of course, employers may nevertheless maintain those records for such employees if they wish, and some do.

"Exceptions Reporting" Timekeeping: Is It The Answer?

Due to coming changes in the U.S. Labor Department's compensation requirements for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions, many employers will no longer rely upon those exemptions for at least some workers beginning no later than December 1, 2016.

Nurse's Unpaid Overtime Claim Teaches Lessons

A recent case filed by an Illinois nurse who claims that she is owed unpaid overtime by her former employer illustrates the importance of proper timekeeping procedures and accurate records. The court’s decision in Roberts v. Advocate Health Care demonstrates the types of off-the-clock wage claims that employees may bring against you, and offers lessons on how records can support or undermine your defense of those claims.

How a Typo Can Be Costly

Imagine being sued by all of your employees for the past four years because your paystubs have an extra comma in your company's name, the zip code is missing from your address, or the paystub gives the pay period end date but not the beginning date.

Small Business: Record Your Employees' Time!

Over the years I've had the opportunity to represent and advise a number of small businesses on wage and hour issues. Small businesses are understandably reticent to spend money on legal fees, so my first contact with many of these clients tends to be after they are served with a summons or visited by a DOL investigator looking into complaints of wage and hour violations.

Timekeeping For Exempt Employees: Poll Results

Readers will recall that we included a poll with our most-recent post concerning whether an employer should keep records of the time worked by employees who qualify for a federal Fair Labor Standards Act minimum-wage and/or overtime exemption.

Timekeeping For Exempt Employees

Should an employer keep records of the time worked by employees who qualify for a federal Fair Labor Standards Act minimum-wage and/or overtime exemption?

Good Things Come To Those Who Document Good Wage & Hour Practices

Remember those Guinness commercials from the early 2000s with the tagline “Good things come to those who wait” (or maybe, if you predate the no-mess squeeze bottles, you remember the Heinz ketchup commercials with the same tagline from the 1980s)? In wage and hour law, good things come to those who document good wage and hour practices.

"Right to Know" Rule Not Likely in 2012

For roughly the last two years, the U.S. Department of Labor has been contemplating (some would say "threatening") revisions to the recordkeeping regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act that would require an employer who classifies an employee as exempt to prepare a written justification of the basis for the exemption. This document would have to be provided to the employee and would be subject to inspection by the Department of Labor. For obvious reasons, many employers strongly disfavor this proposal.

Caution Called For In Documenting Compliance Efforts.

Vigilant employers are taking steps to evaluate or re-assess the status of their compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the similar laws of other jurisdictions. It is wise to do so, but management should also be careful about how and under what circumstances it goes about compiling, communicating, and documenting information relating to these matters. Increasingly, plaintiffs in wage-hour lawsuits are seeking to force employers to produce such materials in the hope of generating useful evidence.

Nature Of DOL's "Right To Know" Remains Largely Unknown.

The U.S. Labor Department's most-recent regulatory agenda now targets April 2011 for the release of a proposed rule that DOL says is intended to, among other things, "update [federal Fair Labor Standards Act] recordkeeping requirements to foster more openness and transparency in demonstrating employers' compliance with applicable requirements to their workers, to better ensure compliance by regulated entities, and to assist in enforcement."

Be On Guard For Looming FLSA Recordkeeping Changes.

The U.S. Labor Department has now provided additional, disquieting insight into its "Plan, Prevent, Protect" program that we first reported on in our April 30 post. Part of DOL's Spring Regulatory Agenda 2010 announces an intention to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") proposing significant amendments to the FLSA recordkeeping regulations.

Auto Dealership Update: The Lawsuit Du Jour.

This might have already happened at your dealership: your payroll clerk is exasperated because the sales people are not punching their time cards. She knows that under federal law, the dealership is obligated to pay sales people their commissions or minimum wage for all hours worked, whichever is higher. But if they have low commissions and they don't punch in and out each day, she has no way to accurately calculate their hours or their pay.
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