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Wage and Hourly Violations

Wage and Hourly Violations

There are four wage and hour violations commonly seen at Bloodworth Law that will trip up employers.

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The first wage and hourly violation is failing to properly track hours worked. The reasons for failing to properly track hours worked can vary. Failing to track hours worked properly can either occur by making employees stay late after they’ve already clocked out, or having them clock out for lunch, yet having them work during lunch.

Sometimes employers will not realize that certain hours are compensable. A lot a lot of employers fail to track travel time. Travel time usually comes up in construction positions and in sales. Travel time to a construction site, to and from airports. Layovers on weekend travel or waiting for meetings and arriving a day in advance on a weekend day are examples.

Another way that employers will often get screwed up on hourly wages is people who have the same hours every day. Take an office employee who always worked through lunch without the employer’s knowledge. Then, for unrelated reasons, the employer fire the employee for something unrelated. Then, the fired employee comes back and says, ‘hey by the way, I worked through all my lunches.’

Failing to properly calculate overtime is problem number two commonly seen in employment law violations. Overtime calculation violations are basically math errors on the part of the employer.

The ways employers can do this? Failing to account for bonuses. Sometimes, not always, bonus payments are considered part of an employees’ wages. So when employers calculate 1.5 times the hourly rate, they have to add bonuses to that regular pay to get the employee’s base rate –which is a little higher than the actual base rate. Thus, employers will underpay the overtime.

Another issue is that employers can really get turned around in math is sometimes paying a salary to a non-exempt employee. This is allowed and there’s nothing wrong, nothing illegal about paying a non-exempt employee a salary. But it does make the math complicated to figure out what the overtime pay should be.

Why? Because even if employers pay employees a salary, employers still have to pay additional overtime when the employee works more than 40 hours a week.

The number three most common employer hourly pay and wage issues is misclassification. This when an employer improperly classifies a non-exempt employee as an exempt employee.

This is often the case for people considered half way between a white-collar position and a blue-collar position. Example? A receptionist is a blue-collar position, whereas a CFO is white-collar position.

What about the bookkeeper? What about the person that you call the office manager for a small office who has to make big decisions? These positions are kind of in-between doing day to day work and making important decisions.

Problems with tipped employees is number four in terms of types of wage and hour violations seen for employers at Bloodworth Law. These problems tend to be one of two things:

  1. either the company requires tipped employees to share their tips with people. It violates the law in such a way that employers cannot pay the reduced minimum wage to tipped employees.
  2. The other way that employers tend to mess up is for not doing a great job of accounting for tips.

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