1 Wage and Hour Employment Law Update Presented by: Jack Lord ( , Christi Adams ( , Overview of the Program Historical Perspective Recent FLSA Regulations Affecting Exempt and Non-Exempt Classifications Overview of Compensable Time Payroll Record Maintenance Requirements Risks, Penalties, and Compliance Strategies
2 What Changed in 2004? Increased minimum for salary level test Refined or changed duties test Eliminated short and long tests regarding duties, but allowed more flexibility for highly compensated employees Created safe harbor for salary basis test Allowed disciplinary suspension of less than one week without violating salary basis test Background Information FLSA: Overtime: 1.5 times regular rate for all hours over 40 in a work week White Collar Exemptions: Executive, Administrative, Professional and outside sales persons and computer employees Three tests, generally, for exemption: Salary level Salary basis Job duties
3 Salary Level Test Minimum raised to $455/week ($23,660 annually) No employee below this salary level can be exempt No Salary Requirements The salary level and salary basis tests do not apply to: Outside Sales Employees Doctors Lawyers Teachers Otherwise exempt computer-related occupations paid at least $27.63 per hour
4 Highly Compensated Employee Test Permits exemption if employee: Receives total annual compensation of $100,000 or more, but at least $455 per week on a salary basis; Total annual compensation can include commissions, bonuses or other non-discretionary compensation, but not the cost of fringe benefits; Performs office or non-manual work; and Customarily and regularly performs at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee. Salary Basis Test Employee regularly receives a predetermined amount each pay period Pay cannot be reduced due to variations in quality or quantity of work Full salary paid for any week in which any work performed Not required to pay for workweek when no work is performed
5 Salary Basis Test (cont.) Deductions from salary can jeopardize exempt status. Making improper deductions will result in the loss of the exemption: during time period in which improper deductions were made for all employees in same job classification working for the same managers responsible for the improper deductions Salary Basis Test (cont.) Permitted Deductions: penalties for violating major safety rules unpaid suspension of one or more full days for violations of workplace conduct rules unpaid FMLA leave personal absence for one or more full days absence for one or more full days for sickness or disability if part of a benefits plan to offset jury or witness fees or military pay portion for time worked in first and last weeks
6 Payroll Practices That Do Not Violate the Salary Basis test Taking deductions from exempt employees accrued leave accounts Requiring exempt employees to keep track of and record their hours worked Requiring exempt employees to work a specified schedule Implementing bona fide, across-the-board schedule changes Salary Basis Test (cont.) Corrections Allowed Safe Harbor When: Have a clearly communicated policy prohibiting improper pay deductions which: Includes a complaint mechanism, Reimbursement to the employee(s) for improper deductions, and Good faith commitment to comply in the future Unless the employer willfully violates the policy after receiving employee complaints
7 Clearly Communicated Policy The best evidence of a clearly communicated policy is a written policy Salary Basis Test---DOL Opinion Letters FLSA Employer could require exempt employees to work hours per week, and could require exempt employees to make up lost work due to personal absences of less than a day. FLSA Employer cannot deduct from an exempt employee s guaranteed salary for the replacement cost of lost or damaged equipment (e.g. laptops or cell phones), but employer may deduct such costs from bonuses.
8 Executive Exemption Must have a primary duty of management of department or area Must customarily and regularly direct the work of 2 or more employees Must have practical authority to recommend hiring, firing or promotion Executive Exemption 29 CFR Employee does not lose exemption if he/she performs both exempt and non exempt work. BUT, management must remain the primary duty. Employee can spend as little as 5 10% of his/her time on exempt duties and perform manual labor, if management is the primary duty.
9 Executive Exemption Cases finding managers or assistant managers exempt executives Thomas v. Speedway SuperAmerica, 6th Cir., 10/30/07)(an Ohio gas station and convenience store manager is an executive employee despite performing nonmanagement tasks and being closely supervised) Boshaw v. Spartan Stores, Inc. Addison v. Ashland Depew v. Shopko Stores, Inc Mitchell v. Abercrombie &Fitch Posely v. Eckerd Corp. Thomas v. Speedway Superamerica, LLC Henderson v. Payless Shoes Executive Exemption Cases finding managers or assistant managers NOT exempt executives Smith v. Heartland Auto. Svcs. Elliott v. Flying J., Inc. Jackson v. Go-Tane Svcs., Inc.
10 Administrative Exemption Must have a primary duty of office/nonmanual work related to management of general business operations of employer or customer Must exercise discretion and independent judgment as to matters of significance De-emphasizing administration v. production Administrative v. Production FLSA case managers performed work free of supervision, did not operate on written protocols and were independently responsible for development of each customer s care plan DOL--duties were NOT administrative, rather part of day to day services offered by Company
11 Administrative v. Production FLSA copy editors--at direct marketing firm that focuses on book sales--reviewed materials and checked for adherence to copyright and trademark laws DOL--duties were NOT administrative, rather work related to production and done as part of day to day operations Discretion and Independent Judgment FLSA Film Location Managers who selected the film s location, negotiated the site rental, oversaw enforcement of rules for locations and represented the production company in various matters, exercised discretion and independent judgment FLSA Loss Prevention Managers who analyzed store inventory, identified paperwork controls and conducted compliance audits, exercised discretion and independent judgment
12 Administrative Exemption (cont.) Examples of exempt positions: an employee who leads a team to complete major projects executive assistants who have been delegated authority regarding matters of significance human resource managers who formulate or implement employment policies purchasing agents who can bind the company on significant purchases Professional Exemption Learned Professional Work performed must require advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning Advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction for which an academic degree, although not absolutely required is prima facie evidence.
13 Professional Exemption Creative Professional Work performed requires invention, imagination, or talent In a recognized field of artistic endeavor Professional Exemption Examples of exempt positions: accountants, but not accounting clerks engineers and design engineers attorneys doctors
14 Professional Exemption FLSA Radiology technologist NOT exempt since baccalaureate degree not required and work is not predominantly intellectual in character. FLSA Respiratory therapists NOT exempt since baccalaureate degree is not a standard prerequisite for entry into the field. FLSA Medical Coders NOT exempt since coding is not recognized by colleges and universities as a bona fide academic discipline. Professional Exemption FLSA Social Workers who need a masters degree in a specialized field and who make independent decisions about what therapy to provide are considered learned professionals; case workers who provide case management services and are only required to have a bachelor s degree in the social sciences are not learned professionals. FLSA Substitute teachers whose primary duty is teaching qualify for the special teacher exemption under Section regardless of whether they hold a degree.
15 Other Exemptions Computer employees Primary duty must include: Application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users to determine functional specifications; Design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs; Design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of programs related to operating systems; or A combination of such duties requiring the same level of skills The exemption does not apply to employees whose primary duty relates to the manufacturer or repair of computer hardware or related equipment exempt computer employee need not consistently exercise discretion and judgment Other Exemptions Computer employees FLSA IT Support Specialist was not exempt since his duties installing, configuring, testing, and troubleshooting computer applications, networks and hardware did not constitute the types of high level computer activities required for the computer professional exemption.
16 Other Exemptions Outside sales employees Primary duty must be making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for service, and must work outside the office (fixed site) majority (used to be 80%) of time. Does not include sales by mail, telephone, or internet unless incidental to personal calls. Other Exemptions Outside sales employees FLSA Resort timeshare salespersons are NOT exempt since they are not engaged in sales away from the employer s place of business FLSA Home sales employees working out of a model home or a trailer are exempt since they are primarily engaged in sales away from the employer s place of business
17 Other Exemptions Outside sales employees FLSA Mortgage Loan Officers, some of whom perform their work at the employer s offices and some of whom perform their work outside the offices meet the requirements for the outside sales exemption. Activities such as making phone calls, sending s, and meeting with clients in the office are considered exempt if performed incidental to or in conjunction with the loan officer s own outside sales activities. Effects on Employers Higher salary requirements eliminated exemptions under all tests for lesser-paid employees Some additional ability to make deductions and correct deduction errors
18 Achieving compliance Review exempt status of lesser-paid employees Review exempt status for employees making $100,000 or more Conduct job analyses and revise job descriptions as necessary Achieving compliance (cont.) Review and correct any problems with deduction policy Remember solutions to overtime issues that do not depend on exempt status (e.g., salary for all hours worked) Correct any errors in regular rate calculations
19 Overview of Compensable Time Issues (non-exempt employees) Pay for Preliminary/postliminary Time Pay for Travel Pay for On-Call Time Pay for Meal/Rest Breaks Pay for Training/Learning Activities Pay for Preliminary/Postliminary Time General rules : Activities which occur before the work day begins or after the work day ends must be compensated if they are INTEGRAL AND INDISPENSABLE to the principal activity Examples donning and doffing specialized clothing or gear, walking to/from the production floor, wash up time, pre-trip inspection of a motor vehicle Exception Time does not have to be compensated if it is de minimis
20 Pay for Preliminary/Postliminary Time Gorman et al. v. Consolidated Edison and Carballo et al. v. Entergy Nuclear, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Court found that extensive security precautions, which can take up to 30 minutes a day, were indispensable, but not integral to the employees' work. Plaintiffs case for preliminary/postliminary time was dismissed. Pay for Travel General rules : Home to work not compensable Travel during the workday, from job site to job site compensable Day trip out of town travel time during regular working day and outside regular working day is compensable (except meals), but not time spent traveling from home to location for further travel, such as airport
21 Pay for Travel (cont.) Overnight trips Travel time during normal work hours on regular work days (e.g., 9 a.m. 5 p.m.) and on non-work days (e.g., Saturday, Sunday, Holidays) is compensable (except meals). Note, however, that some states have laws that may have different requirements (e.g., Wisconsin requires pay for all travel time irrespective of time/day of travel) Pay for Travel (cont.) Overnight trips Travel outside normal work hours and corresponding weekend hours not compensable unless actually working (unless state law requires otherwise) Time spent driving is considered working, while time spent as a passenger is not
22 Pay for Travel (cont.) Emergency calls outside workday If an employee is called out on an emergency job after he/she has gone home for the day, travel time directly to a customer s site is compensable, but not travel time directly to the employer s premises (however, consider oncall rules) Pay for Travel Dooley v. Liberty Mutual Appraisers started laptops, opened software, checked voice and , responded to messages, reviewed and mapped daily assignments and loaded supplies into their vehicles before leaving home to drive to their first appraisal site. Entitled to pay for commuting time since work at home was a principal activity, that began the work day.
23 Pay for Travel Singh v. City of New York Travel from a remote location to work, carrying a briefcase with files, was not compensable While the briefcase was necessary to plaintiffs work, that did not make the activity integral and indispensable. Pay for Waiting/On-Call Time Fact specific inquiry Waiting time while on duty is compensable On-call time is compensable if required to stay on-site or so close impossible to use time for own purposes May be compensable if other restrictions are so severe or numerous that they interfere with ability to use time for own purposes
24 Pay for Meal/Rest Periods ALL of the following conditions must be satisfied for meal breaks to be unpaid: At least 30 minutes Must be relieved of all duties Must be free to leave his/her post (but can be confined at the employer s premises) State laws may vary or have additional restrictions Pay for Meal/Rest Periods Meal periods have to be 30 uninterrupted minutes. Otherwise, meal periods will be compensable (ALL of period, not just interrupted portion) Unless the interruptions are extremely sporadic, that means all meal periods are compensable, not just the ones where interruptions actually occur
25 Pay for Training, Meetings, and Learning General rule: time spent at employer-sponsored meetings and training programs is compensable unless: Attendance is outside the employee s regular working hours Attendance is voluntary The course or meeting is not directly related to the employee s job; and Employee does not perform any productive work during attendance Wage and Hour Meal Period Should the following employee be compensated for her meal period? Sally is a legal secretary. She chooses sit at her desk during her 30 minute lunch period. She sometimes answers her bosses telephone and sometimes is asked to perform miscellaneous duties that only take several minutes. A. Yes. B. No.
26 Wage and Hour - Meetings Should the following employees be compensated for this time? Sarah, a machine operator, volunteers to be on the plant s first responder team. So as not to conflict with the work schedule of Sarah and the other team members, the Company schedules their required training sessions for Saturday mornings. A. Yes. B. No. Wage and Hour - Meetings Should the following employee be compensated for this time? Non-exempt employees volunteer to help with a blood drive that is taking place at the Company during their non-scheduled work hours. A. Yes. B. No.
27 Wage and Hour Time Worked Which of the following are considered work time under FLSA? A. Time spent traveling from home to the day s work site. B. Time spent traveling to a meeting in another city by car. C. Time spent traveling home during the evening from a meeting in another city. D. All of the above. Overtime Calculation In settling a labor contract the company pays each employee a lump sum payment of $1,000. Does this payment change the regular rate on which overtime is paid? A. Yes. B. No.
28 Overtime Calculation Employer pays employees a production bonus of 2% of their compensation each quarter. Does this payment affect the regular rate on which overtime is paid? A. Yes. B. No. Overtime Calculation The company pays employees a bonus of $100 per quarter for perfect attendance. Does this payment have to be included in the regular rate for overtime? A. Yes. B. No.
29 Overtime Calculation An employee shows up for an overtime shift on Saturday. The foreperson is late and the facility is not open. The employee waits an hour and goes home. Is he due pay? A. Yes. B. No. Overtime Calculation Employer employees five telephone sales representatives on a commission basis. Does it have to pay them time and a half for working more than 40 hours a week? A. Yes. B. No.
30 Pay-Related Record Maintenance Requirements Employers are required to maintain payroll records under several federal and state statutes The maximum retention period is generally six (6) years Record Maintenance (cont.) FLSA Three (3) years for payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, certificates, and employment contracts Three (3) years (from date of termination of program) for records relating to apprenticeship programs where employees are paid less than minimum wage Two (2) years for supplementary records (basic employment and earning records including performance reviews, evaluations, merit raise records, wage rate tables, work time schedules, and the like)
31 Record Maintenance (cont.) FICA/FUTA Retention of payroll records for four (4) years after the tax has been paid or becomes due ADEA Retention of payroll records for three (3) years ERISA Retention of records on matters on which disclosure is required for six (6) years after filing date. Payroll records must be maintained in order to determine plan benefits or contributions (sick pay, wage continuation, etc.). Title VII One (1) year for records relating to promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, and selection for training or apprenticeship AAP/OFCCP Two (2) years for records pertaining to affirmative action programs and reports
32 Penalties Under the FLSA Relevant time period is 2 to 3 years Person may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to up to 6 months imprisonment An amount equal to the unpaid amount of minimum wage or overtime is awarded as liquidated damages willful violations A reasonable attorney s fee will also be awarded Penalties Under the FLSA Costs and interest Individual Liability is possible under the statute Collective Actions are possible Opt-in provisions DOL may impose fines
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