You’re Damned if You Don’t Pay Overtime to Non-Exempt Workers

Posted: June 24, 2011 in Overzealous Government Regulators, Wages, Overtime, Commissions and Pay Issues

The Salem Franchisee of the Upper Crust Pizza Chain was recently ordered to pay $80,000 for violating federal overtime and record keeping logs, according to the attached Boston Globe report. This follows $341,000 in payments ordered against the corporate office in 2009 (a separate legal entity from the franchisee).

State and federal regulators are deadly serious about enforcing overtime and other wage regulations. There are also public interest groups and private attorneys who are actively looking for businesses who flout the laws. Keep in mind that the statutes at issue are strict liability statutes, so it is not going to matter if you are willfully blind to the wage laws, or are making an honest mistake.

Wage and hour laws can be very complex, and a complete discussion is beyond the scope of this article. One basic issue that employers should know is that they cannot simply make an employee a salaried employee by putting the employee on salary. There are very specific requirements regarding who can be considered salaried and “exempt” from overtime requirements.

Also, the employer is obligated to keep track of an employee’s hours of work. If the employer does not keep good time records, the employer will not only face fines, but will find itself handcuffed in a suit by the employee because the employee may be able to “estimate” the amount of hours worked, but the employer may not be able to even provide rebuttal testimony.

By: Adam Whitney 617.338.7000.


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