Log in to view your state's edition
You are not logged in
Claim your Copy of
Top 100 FLSA
Overtime Q&As
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
State:
Free Special Reports
Get Your FREE Special Report. Download Any One Of These FREE Special Reports, Instantly!
Featured Special Report
Claim Your Free Copy of Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As

We’ve compiled a list of the 100 most commonly asked questions we have received on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
Download Now!


This report, "Top 100 FLSA Q&As", is designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA overtime regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for bringing your workplace into compliance in an affordable manner.

At the end of the report, you will find a list of state resources on wage and hour issues. This report includes practical advice on topics such as:
  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave


Download Now!
Bookmark and Share
April 16, 2012
How to Avoid Wage & Hour Investigations

by Susan E. Prince, J.D., BLR Legal Editor

For a Limited Time receive a FREE Compensation Market Analysis Report! Find out how much you should be paying to attract and retain the best applicants and employees, with customized information for your industry, location, and job. Get Your Report Now!

Knock, knock … Surprise! Believe it or not, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) does not require an investigator to previously announce the scheduling of a wage & hour investigation. The investigator has sufficient latitude to initiate unannounced wage & hour investigations, in many cases, in order to directly observe normal business operations and quickly develop factual information. The following are some strategies to prevent this knock from sounding at your company’s front door!

1. Avoid unfair compensation practices. Make sure employees are compensated in a consistent manner. If an employer’s pay practices are consistent, complaints are less likely to arise, and the employer will be in a better situation if DOL does launch a wage & hour investigation.

2. Understand the regulations. It is important that employers take the time and make a concerted effort to understand and familiarize themselves with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It is the law, and if employers fail to follow the law they may face litigation or a DOL audit.

3. Training. Train managers so they are fluent in the language of the FLSA.

4. Analyze state versus federal law. Determine whether the state’s wage & hour laws conflict with federal law, then follow the law that is most beneficial to the employee.

5. Pay past overtime due. If it is determined that an employee is wrongly classified as exempt, the employer should determine how many overtime hours the employee has worked in the past 2 years, then pay the employee the overtime due. The employer should also have the employee sign a release to free the employer from further liability. Paying past overtime due to employees now will be far less expensive than paying them in a DOL settlement.

6. Follow child labor laws. Employers must determine a minor’s age and set his or her job duties and work schedules accordingly and carefully. Also, employers must file the minor employee’s age certificate, keeping it for as long as the minor is employed.

7. Pay your interns, unless they meet a strict test. Internships in the for-profit, private sector will most often be viewed as employment by the DOL, unless a strict test is met. Interns who qualify as employees rather than trainees typically must be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

8. Respond to internal complaints expeditiously. If an employee files a wage & hour complaint internally, the employer should take it seriously. Since many investigations are prompted by an employee’s complaint, employers might be able to prevent an investigation by addressing an employee’s initial internal complaint.

9. Seek compliance assistance from DOL. Various compliance tools and information are available on DOL's website.

10. Conduct a self-audit. Employers can hire attorneys to audit their companies—or they can do it themselves before DOL initiates an investigation. Conducting a self-audit helps ensure compliance with federal and state laws. As part of an audit, employers should:

  • Review job descriptions to determine whether they are still accurate, reflect the jobs being performed, and reflect the skills necessary to perform the job.
  • Review employees’ actual job duties to ensure that they still fall within the administrative, executive, professional, computer, or outside sales exemptions.
  • Make sure overtime for nonexempt employees has been properly calculated
  • Make sure the required posters have been hung in the appropriate places in the workplace.

DOL investigators look for complete, accurate, and unambiguous pay records for every employee for each pay period from the past 3 years. As a result, it is imperative that employers strive to keep accurate, well-organized wage & hour records that can be produced quickly. If violations are found, the employer may owe back pay, face penalties, and be advised by DOL to make changes in employment practices in order to avoid future violations.

Wage & Hour Related Resources

Susan E. Prince, J.D., is a Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Prince has over 10 years of experience as an attorney and writer in the field of human resources and has published numerous articles on a variety of human resources and employment topics, including compensation, benefits, workers’ compensation, discrimination, work/life issues, termination, and military leave. Ms. Prince also served as an expert on several audio conferences discussing the 2004 changes to the federal regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Before starting her career in publishing, Ms. Prince practiced law for several years in the insurance industry and served as president of a retail sales business. Ms. Prince received her law degree from Vermont Law School.

Featured Special Report:
Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As
   
   
 
 
Twitter  Facebook  Linked In
Follow Us
WEBARRAY6
Copyright © 2014 Business & Legal Resources. All rights reserved. 800-727-5257
This document was published on http://Compensation.BLR.com
Document URL: http://compensation.blr.com/Compensation-news/Compensation/Wage-And-Hour-Investigations/zns-How-to-Avoid-Wage-Hour-Investigations/