Wage and hour laws are a complex problem for every HR manager.
Federal laws end where state laws take over, and both are always in flux. It can be a full time job to keep them all in order.
Compliance with wage and hour laws is critical to your business. Compliance problems can accumulate federal or state penalties over employee wage and hour claims.
In the past two years wage and hour claims have tripled in cost.
Employees are more aware of their rights. Attorneys have learned how to take advantage of the system. It makes good sense to learn the basic pitfalls of wage and hour laws.
There are four common pitfalls to avoid:
1: Compensable Time
When your employees are working, their time is compensable. Period. It doesn’t matter that your employees are working “voluntarily.” If your employees are on the job, you are required to provide compensation.
This means that you need to track every minute your employees are working.
2: Pay Stubs
Employers are not required to provide a pay stub to their employers by the federal government. Some states require you to provide a pay stub with your payroll.
Regardless, you are required to provide them to your employee when they ask for one.
This means you need to keep secure, accurate records. SwipeClock WorkforceHUB includes employee self-service to help this problem.
3: Compensation For Breaks
There are regulations that dictate when an employer must pay for meal and rest breaks.
Generally speaking, employers must pay for meal breaks if they are less than 30 minutes. Employers must pay for break times that are less than 20 minutes.
Most meal breaks are at least 30 minutes or more, and are not paid. The critical point here is to measure and record meal breaks so that you have a defensible record of time and attendance.
4: Off The Clock
Employers appreciate when an employee goes the extra mile.
The problem is that these “off the clock” moments are actually compensable.
Assuming work is off the clock comes with a twist; it is covered by law and you are required to pay for it.
The way to avoid this pitfall is to assume all time is compensable, and to measure it accordingly.
Helping your employees understand the regulations, and letting them know that you are aware, too, is a good measure toward common understanding.