FLSA Changes: Updating Your Policies and Practices
FLSA Changes: Updating Your Policies and Practices

FLSA Changes: Updating Your Policies and Practices

Have you reviewed your policies and practices in light of the upcoming FLSA overtime changes?

Reclassified employees may have to follow procedures and policies that didn’t apply to them before—or that you didn’t have. Changing habits can be a challenge, but changing those of your formerly exempt employees with respect to hours worked and tracked is critical to preventing wage and hour violations.

Newly non-exempt employees are likely used to “running the clock” after hours. They may be in the habit of responding to work email, finishing up projects, taking client calls or engaging in other work tasks during non-work hours. It’s therefore advisable that your policies are clear about expectations and the organization’s commitment to recording all time worked by nonexempt employees.


DOL RULES UPDATE
On November 22, a U.S. District ruled in favor of an injunction blocking the final overtime rules from being implemented on December 1, 2016. At this time, we are awaiting more information on updates to the rule and the final implementation date.

If you have implemented changes already, we recommend businesses not change any plans, pay structures, or policies that have been updated._


Timekeeping
Consider that your previously exempt employees may not be familiar with your timekeeping procedures, such as tracking time to check emails and turning in recorded work time for each pay period. Review these procedures with them, keeping in mind that non-exempt employees must be paid for all time they are permitted to work. This doesn’t just mean time in the office, but all time, whether it’s approved by the employer or not.

Off-the-Clock Work
As mentioned above, all hours worked by a non-exempt employee must be recorded and compensated, even those performed outside of the employee’s standard shift. Therefore, it’s critical to have a policy in place that informs employees that all time worked must be tracked, that off-the-clock work is prohibited and that employees may be disciplined for not following their scheduled shift. Please note that refusing to pay for unauthorized time worked—whether it’s regular or overtime—is not permissible.

Employees Using Their Personal Electronic Devices
Time a non-exempt employee spends doing work from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer is considered time worked, and employees may find this hard to resist if their phone is buzzing in their pocket every time a new work email hits their inbox. For this reason, you may want to prohibit a non-exempt employee from using their personal devices for work purposes at all, or only allow such use upon authorization from the company. For instance, if you’d like particular employees to check and respond to work email over the weekend, build that time into their weekly schedule so it doesn’t lead to unexpected overtime.

Meal and Rest Periods
Many states require meal and/or break periods for non-exempt employees. It’s important to inform employees of these breaks, explain the procedures for clocking in and out and remind them that no work should be performed during this time.

This is an area where it will be particularly important for your managers to be willing to manage. Employees who previously worked through lunch at their desk and could put in their eight hours between 9 and 5 might not want to take an unpaid lunch period or break, thus extending their workday. State law, however, may be indifferent to their feelings. If employees ask to waive their meal or rest periods, you’ll want to check state laws on break and rest periods. Sometimes these breaks can be waived, but sometimes they cannot. And waiving them sometimes requires special circumstances and agreements between employers and employees.

Overtime
Now is the time to ensure that you’re familiar with your state and local overtime laws. Although most employers will only be subject to the federal requirement to pay time and one-half for hours worked over 40 in one workweek, Alaska, California, Colorado and Nevada each have daily overtime provisions, and Massachusetts and Rhode Island require some employers to pay a premium for work on Sundays and certain holidays. Employees and managers need to be aware of the rules for compliance. And you should make sure that your own expectations for overtime work are written in your policy and communicated to your employees.

Travel Time
Since non-exempt employees must be paid for all time worked, you may need to consider travel time for those customarily engaged in work travel. There are a few narrow exceptions when travel time isn’t payable (e.g. when the employee is a passenger in a vehicle outside of regular work hours or during a standard morning/evening commute), but it’s good to assess your non-exempt employees’ travel schedules to ensure proper pay.

An employee handbook that contains the most updated policies and procedures is critical to staying compliant. Learn more about Paycor’s HR Support Center, a comprehensive HR knowledgebase that provides handbook templates, sample job descriptions, useful checklists, law alerts and more. Or, contact us to see how we can help your organization prepare for new overtime regulations.

Source: HR Support Center


Subscribe to Our Resource Center Digest

Enter your email below to receive a weekly recap of the latest articles from Paycor's Resource Center.

Check your inbox for an email confirming your subscription. Enjoy!

More to Discover

How to Pay 1099 Employees

How to Pay 1099 Employees

As the gig economy grows more employers are looking to hire independent contractors (aka 1099 workers). But since paying independent contractors isn’t a walk in the park, many employers are looking for step-by-step instructions. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know: How Do I Pay a 1099 Worker? This subject is something you will need to discuss in detail with the person you’re hiring for the job. Often, they will have a written contract that stipulates how and when they should be paid. The two most common methods of payment are hourly and by the job or project. Some independent contractors — such as attorneys — prefer to be paid on retainer, which means you pay them a lump sum at the beginning of each month in return for a...

States with Salary History Bans

States with Salary History Bans

Requesting job applicants’ salary histories has been a pretty common practice for employers over the years. Recruiters and hiring managers often use this knowledge to exclude people from the candidate pool, either because the applicant is “too expensive” or their previous salary is so low, hiring managers think the person is poorly qualified or inexperienced.Businesses have also used previous salary information to calculate new hire compensation—a process that can perpetuate pay disparity between women and men. To address this inequality, several states and municipalities have enacted bans on asking for previous salary information, although laws vary in terms, scope and applicability. The states and territories that have enacted salary...

Case Study: Buy Sod

Case Study: Buy Sod

Buy Sod Inc. Partners with Paycor to Pay Employees & Maintain Tax Compliance “Because we’re a niche company, our administrators sometimes have trouble uncovering and implementing best practices. But when we partnered with Paycor they brought the expertise and thought leadership to help us overcome tough challenges like the new EEO-1 report. Paycor has the patience, knowledge and resources to help us stay ahead of problems and grow.” - Jennifer Hillard, Director of People and Culture Why Buy Sod Inc. Chose Paycor In 2002, three family businesses came together to create a network of sod farms that operate and distribute around the country. But with ten locations and eighteen different payrolls to process, Buy Sod Inc. struggled to...

Webinar: Compliance in 2020: What You Need to Know

Webinar: Compliance in 2020: What You Need to Know

A new year brings new compliance issues employers should be monitoring at the federal, state and local levels. To help your organization prepare for what’s ahead, our compliance team will outline key changes in 2020 and trends in the areas of payroll, tax and HR compliance.Speakers: Arlene Baker and James SchwantesArlene Baker is a Senior Compliance Analyst with over 40 years of payroll and tax experience. She’s a member of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium focusing on IRS compliance, and she’s been a member of the national and local APA for 25 years. In 2003, Arlene was awarded the Ohio Payroll Professional of the Year award. James Schwantes is a Compliance Analyst with a legal and tax background. Prior to working at Paycor in...