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Monday, October 13, 2014

FLSA Compliance: Common Violation #4

FLSA Compliance laws can get tricky.  The laws can be hard to understand, and misunderstanding the laws could cost your business money.  Understanding where you are failing to follow FLSA regulations gives you a chance to fix the violations.  This blog post is not meant as a substitute for legal council.  Always contact legal representation if you have any questions regarding FLSA compliance. Using a mobile resource management solution can make it easier.

Where do most companies go wrong?  The FLSA knows.  The following list was collected by the FLSA and is available for you to download from their site. Click here. 

Common Violation #4 _______________________________________________________________
Banking of overtime hours in the form of comp-time

Problem:  Sometimes it seems easier and less expensive to trade hours worked for comp-time.  However, in some states such as California, this is illegal and could be the basis for an FLSA lawsuit.  So, first and always know the laws in your state.  If  you live in a state where it is legal to trade overtime for comp-time then documentation is the key.  Most states require a signed contract between the employer and employee stating that the employee understands and is willing, to trade overtime for comp-time. 

At this point in the series, I hope you see a theme.  Document, document, document! 

Solution:  If you live in a state where overtime pay cannot be substituted for comp-time, make sure that you are documenting all overtime hours.  Failure to pay the correct overtime wages is cause for FLSA fines and possible litigation.  Automating your time and attendance workflow with a software solution that has an overtime feature is highly recommended.  The ability to see overtime hours worked and get field approval keeps the office informed of exactly how many hours employees are working in the field.  The field approval provides employees with up to the minute verification of how much they have worked while providing employees with the opportunity to discuss any discrepancies before they become problems. 

If it you live in a state where you can use comp-time, make sure you have signed documentation, and it is easily assessable.  In a previous blog, we cited a study done for The Paperless Project.  It stated that large organizations lose a document every 12 seconds.   The best way to combat lost or misplaced paperwork is to not use paper.  Instead use digital forms and store them on your computer in a file attached to your employee file or project file.  It is easily assessable this way and harder to misplace.   FormsXPress from AboutTime makes this process very easy.  The agreement can be filled out in the field and signed by both the foreman and the employee, even on a weekly basis.     If you don’t have a program like FormsXPress available make sure documents are signed, scanned and attached to each employee's file.  

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