Getting It Right: Avoiding Compensation Policy Pitfalls

Wages and hours are a heavily regulated area of employment law containing many traps for the unwary employer who fails to fully comply with complex formulas and make close judgment calls correctly.

At NachtLaw, our experienced attorneys will help you adopt wage and hour policies that maintain the greatest possible flexibility and efficiency while still giving your employees the wages to which they are legally entitled. Contact us to avoid wage and hour problems before they arise.

Avoiding Potentially Costly Misconceptions

Many wage and hour disputes have their origin in honest misconceptions of the law, leading to misclassification of employees and working time. However, even a good faith failure to understand the law will not protect your business from wage and hour liability if you violate the law. Among the most common pitfalls are:

  • Salaried employees may be owed overtime: Many employers believe that putting an employee on salary automatically means that employee is no longer entitled to overtime pay. In fact, this is only true for specific categories of employees. For other employees, you must divide the salary by the number of hours worked and pay time and a half for hours worked over 40.
  • A job title is not decisive in classifying a worker: Certain workers do not have to be paid overtime, including some executive, managerial and professional employees, as well as independent contractors. However, these terms have specific legal definitions, and you cannot put an employee in one of these categories merely by giving that employee a certain job title. Proper classification comes only from a careful application of the laws and regulations to actual job duties as they are regularly and customarily performed.
  • You must pay hourly employees for all hours worked: Regardless of any contract you may have with your employees, there is a legal definition of hours worked, and you must pay employees for these hours. Depending on your specific circumstances, this may include "on-call time" or time spent "donning and doffing" uniforms or required tools.

A misconception about wage and hour law could result in significant liability, not to mention the destructive impact of a dispute on employee relations. Proper advice from the start is the only way to protect your business. Contact us to get a skilled assessment of your wage and overtime policies.

If You've Been Hit With A Lawsuit

These days, many employers are finding themselves mired in employee wage and hour collective actions that have the potential to result in significant liability. A single miscalculation or misclassification can substantially impact your bottom line. In some circumstances, just one or two employees can trigger a lawsuit that implicates your entire pay structure.

If you have been sued, you need experienced litigators to protect your interests. Our lawyers have the extensive employment law background to provide you with vigorous representation you need. Contact us today.

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