The right to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cannot be given up in an employment contract, or agreed between the employer and employee not to apply. In hundreds of FLSA cases I have been involved in, one of the most common things employers are sued for is coming up with ways to pay their employees more, but that do not pay them overtime at one-and-one half times their regular hourly rate. Often times these employers tell me that the employee gladly signed a contract to be paid that way because it meant more money. A contract to pay less than one-and-one-half times the regular hourly rate for overtime hours is an illegal contract and completely unenforceable. An employee cannot give up his/her right to overtime, and an employer cannot agree to not follow the law. However, if you do want to pay your employees in a way that is not a strict hourly rate, and one-and-one-half times that rate for overtime, there are ways to do that for some employees. Other employees the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require you to pay overtime to. While exceptions to overtime laws can be applied to some employees, and other employees can be paid a salary that reduces the overtime rate (salaried employees are entitled to overtime), complex legal rules apply. Implementing a system of payment that does not subject you to lawsuits usually requires a labor lawyer. The Fair Labor Standards Act is a specialized field. To have a specialist help you avoid costly lawsuits call or email Joshua Sheskin at Lubell Rosen today – By: Joshua H. Sheskin, Esq., 954-880-9500 – JHS@LubellRosen.com
Often times employers have time records that show they paid an employee correctly, however, even with those records many employers lose Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuits. This is because while these businesses have a time clock, and pay their employees based on the hours that the time clock produces, they fail to have policies that eliminate the possibility of employees alleging that they worked off of the clock. Implementing proper procedures as to when your employee’s clock in and out, and what they must do after clocking out, is essential to avoiding liability in an FLSA suit, because if all you have is a time clock and it shows you paid, the employee will simply claim that they worked off of the clock. It is not as easy as telling employees that they may not work off of the clock, because the definition of work under the FLSA is so broad, and you did not have guidelines in place preventing them from working off of the clock. You do not need to give an employee permission to work off of the clock to owe them pay for off the clock work, they just need to work off of the clock, even if you have a rule against it. A well-written policy and procedure sheet detailing your time keeping rules can save you from tens of thousands of dollars, or more, in liability, and just as much in attorneys’ fees. Having your policies in place, and signatures on policy statements, before an employee attempts to bring a lawsuit, can save your business from paying significant amounts in legal fees, and liability, even if you have a time clock already. Your policies must go beyond prohibiting work off of the clock, and act to prevent any attempt to work off the clock. For help in drafting policies and procedure guides that prevent work from taking place off of the clock contact Joshua Sheskin at the Ft. Lauderdale Headquarters of Lubell Rosen. – By: Joshua H. Sheskin, Esq., 954-880-9500 – JHS@LubellRosen.com.