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WAGE AND HOUR ISSUES: FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT

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1 times the regular rate of pay for all hours over 40 in a work week ... conditions or continued employment would be adversely affected by nonattendance. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: WAGE AND HOUR ISSUES: FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT


1
WAGE AND HOUR ISSUES FAIR LABOR
STANDARDS ACT
  • Colleen B. Mendel, MBA
  • Executive Director
  • Training Technical Assistance Services

2
FLSA Basics
  • Federal minimum wage
  • Overtime
  • White collar exemptions
  • Recordkeeping
  • Penalties
  • Child labor

3
Overtime
  • 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay for all hours
    over 40 in a work week
  • Observe more stringent state or local provisions
  • Must pay time and a half even if workers agree to
    a lower rate
  • Must be paid in cash (only public agencies can
    pay OT with comp time)

4
Compensable Hours
  • Breaks 5-20 minutes
  • Breaks longer than 20 minutes if employee is not
    totally free from duties
  • Work performed on or off site if employer knows
    or has reason to believe work is being done
  • Pre-approved or suffered work
  • All hours related to same day work assignments in
    another city

5
Compensable Hours
  • Time spent in involuntary training
  • Work away from home during normal working hours
  • Travel time during working hours on both work and
    non-work days
  • Meal periods while the employee has work
    responsibilities
  • Time spent volunteering at agency request

6
Noncompensable Time
  • Overnight travel outside of working hours as a
    passenger
  • Time away from home (overnight) not spent
    working, including meal periods
  • Meal periods breaks gt 20 minutes where the
    employee is fully relieved of duties

7
Meal Time
  • Need not be paid if
  • The meal period is at least 30 minutes
  • AND
  • The employee is completely relieved from all
    duties during the period
  • AND
  • The employee is free to leave the duty post

8
Training Time
  • Must be paid UNLESS
  • Attendance is outside of the employees regular
    working hours
  • AND
  • Attendance is voluntary
  • AND
  • Session is not directly related to the employees
    job
  • AND
  • Employee does not perform any productive work
    during the session

9
Training Time
  • Training is not voluntary if the employee is
    given to understand or led to believe that
    his/her present working conditions or continued
    employment would be adversely affected by
    nonattendance.
  • Training is directly related to the job if it is
    designed to help him/her handle the job more
    effectively, as opposed to learn a new job or
    skill.

10
Management Responsibilities
  • Pay employees for work you know or suspect is
    performed
  • See that work you do not want performed is not
    done
  • Have policies against performing work you do not
    want performed
  • Exercise control and enforce policies
  • Pay for pre-approved OT suffered work

11
Management Responsibilities
  • Understand that
  • Simply because an employee is paid a salary does
    not make him/her exempt
  • As long as an employee is paid hourly, s/he is
    normally considered non-exempt
  • Whenever an employee has assigned
    responsibilities (even is not exercised), s/he
    must be paid

12
Fair Pay Rules
  • New rules published April 23, 2004
  • Most significant revision since late 1940s
  • Much less drastic than rule originally proposed
    March 31, 2003
  • Received nearly 80,000 comments
  • Absent judicial or Congressional action, takes
    effect on August 23, 2004
  • Senate voted to block new rules on May 4th
  • House voted to support new rules on May 12th

13
Fair Pay Rules
  • Clarify simplify old long short tests for
    determining exempt status
  • Raise minimum salary requirements from as little
    as 155/wk (8,060/yr) to 455/wk (23,660/yr)
  • Can deny OT to highly compensated employees
    (gt100,000/yr) who meet exempt criteria
  • Can suspend exempt employee for misconduct in one
    day increments
  • Provide safe harbor to fix improper deductions
    from exempt employees pay
  • Clarify educational requirements for professional
    exemption

14
White Collar Exemptions
  • Exempt from both minimum wage and overtime pay
  • Executive
  • Administrative
  • Professional
  • Outside Sales
  • Certain Computer Employees (under professional
    exemption)

15
Three Tests for Exemption
  • Salary Level
  • Salary Basis
  • Job Duties

16
Salary Level Test
  • For most employees, min salary level required for
    exemption is 455/wk
  • Can be paid in equivalent amounts over longer
    period than week (e.g., monthly)
  • Highly compensated total annual gt100,000, at
    least 455/wk,performs exempt duties (executive,
    administrative or professional)

17
Salary Basis Test
  • Predetermined amount each pay period
  • Pay not reduced based on variations in quality or
    quantity or work performed
  • Paid full salary for any week in which the
    employee performs any work (some permitted
    deductions follow)
  • Need not be paid for any work week when no work
    is performed

18
Permitted Salary Deductions
  • Absence from work for one or more full days for
    personal reasons
  • Absence from work for one or more full days due
    to sickness or disability if deductions made
    under plan, policy or practice of providing wage
    replacement benefits for these types of absences
  • To offset any amounts received as payment for
    jury fees, witness fees or military pay

19
Permitted Salary Deductions
  • Penalties for violating safety rules of major
    significance
  • Unpaid disciplinary suspension of one or more
    full days for violations of workplace conduct
    rules (NEW)
  • Proportion of time worked in first or last weeks
    of employment
  • Unpaid leave taken under FMLA

20
Safe Harbor (NEW)
  • Exemption will not be lost if the employer
  • -has clearly communicated policy prohibiting
    improper deductions a complaint mechanism
  • -reimburses employees for improper deductions
  • -makes good faith commitment for future
    compliance
  • Unless the employer willfully violates the policy
    by continuing improper deductions after complaints

21
Executive Exemption
  • Old Rules
  • Min 155/wk
  • Primary duty mgmt of agency, dept or subdivision
  • Customarily, regularly directs work of 2 or more
    employees (or at least 2 FTEs)
  • Fair Pay Rules
  • Min 455/wk or 100,000/yr
  • Same duty and supervision tests
  • Authority to hire/fire or recommendations given
    particular weight

22
Administrative Exemption
  • Old Rules
  • Min 155/wk
  • Primary Duties non-manual or office work
    directly related to mgmt policies or general
    business ops
  • Requires discretion independent judgment
  • Fair Pay Rules
  • Min 455/wk or 100,000/yr
  • Primary Duties non-manual or office work related
    to mgmt or general business opps or employers
    customers
  • Requires discretion independent judgment

23
Discretion Independent Judgment
  • Does the employee have the authority to
  • commit the employer in matters that have
    significant financial impact?
  • waive or deviate from established policies and
    procedures without prior approval?
  • negotiate and bind the company on significant
    matters?
  • formulate, affect, interpret or implement
    management policies or operating practices?

24
Discretion Independent Judgment
  • Does the employee
  • provide consultation or expert advice to
    management?
  • have involvement in planning long- or short-term
    business objectives?
  • investigate and resolve matters of significance
    on behalf of management?
  • represent the agency in handling complaints,
    arbitrating disputes or resolving grievances?

25
Discretion Independent Judgment
  • Does the employee
  • carry out major assignments in conducting the
    operations of the agency or program?
  • perform work that affects business operations to
    a substantial degree, even if the employees
    assignments are related to operation of a
    particular segment of the organization?

26
Discretion Independent Judgment
  • Discretion and independent judgment does not
    include
  • Applying well-established techniques, procedures
    or specific standards described in manuals or
    other sources
  • Clerical or secretarial work
  • Recording or tabulating data
  • Performing mechanical, repetitive, recurrent or
    routine work

27
Professional Exemption
  • Old Rules
  • Min 170/wk or 27.63 per hr for computer
    employees
  • Primary Duty Work requiring advanced knowledge
    in field of science or learning customarily
    acquired by prolonged course of intellectual
    instruction
  • Discretion independent judgment
  • Fair Pay Rules
  • Min 455/wk or 100,000/yr or 27.63/hr for
    computer employees
  • Primary Duty Same
  • Discretion independent judgment

28
Advanced Knowledge
  • Predominantly intellectual in character
  • Includes work requiring consistent exercise of
    discretion and judgment
  • Advanced knowledge generally used to analyze,
    interpret or make deductions from varying facts
    or circumstances
  • Not work involving routine mental, manual,
    mechanical or physical work
  • Cannot be attained at the high school level

29
Computer Employees
  • Can be paid on an hourly basis and retain exempt
    status
  • No requirement to exercise discretion and
    independent judgment
  • Not eligible for highly compensated test

30
What should your agency do?
  • Review and revise employee classifications
  • -Convert low-paid personnel (lt455/wk) to
    non-exempt status
  • -Convert misclassified employees to non-exempt
    status
  • -Use this opportunity to correct past policies
    without raising eyebrows

31
What should your agency do?
  • Review payroll practices
  • -Review sample payroll runs for salary of
    part-time and other workers and the 455/wk
    threshold
  • -Make sure you are complying with the salary
    basis test
  • -Train managers and payroll workers to avoid
    impermissable deductions

32
What should your agency do?
  • Review and revise job descriptions
  • -Better describe actual duties
  • -Emphasize exempt duties
  • -Describe discretion and independent judgment
    where applicable
  • -Expressly give executives authority to
    hire/fire or to make recommendations given
    particular weight
  • -Weigh and document the determination of a
    positions primary duty
  • -Document why workers are exempt and under what
    exemption
  • -Seek counsel for close classification issues

33
What should your agency do?
  • Revise Personnel Policies Procedures
  • -To comply with salary basis test
  • -To allow disciplinary deductions in full day
    increments (after August 23, 2004)
  • -To define your work week
  • -To distinguish policies for exempt workers from
    non-exempt salaried and hourly workers
  • -To add the safe harbor policy to allow
    correction of improper deductions

34
What should your agency do?
  • Revise financial policies procedures
  • -To add the safe harbor policy to allow
    correction of improper deductions
  • -To ensure ongoing compliance with salary basis
    test
  • -To allow for Highly Compensated test
  • -To include impermissable deductions
  • -To ensure proper payment of overtime

35
What else should you do?
  • Be prepared to implement new policies, procedures
    and practices on August 23, 2004.
  • BUT
  • Watch the financial publications and the news to
    see if Congressional or court action delays the
    effective date of the Fair Pay Rules, requires
    certain changes, or remands to DOL for revision.
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