Following President Obama’s directive to “modernize and streamline" white collar overtime exemption regulations, the Department of Labor is poised to release changes to the FLSA any day now. Experts are urging HR professionals to prepare by scrutinizing the validity of their job descriptions. The administration has yet to release the details of the draft regulations, but it’s likely to impact both the salary level test and the primary duties test for determining whether a job is classified as exempt or non-exempt. It’s projected that the current exempt salary level of $23,660 will increase significantly to as much as $52,000. This alone will create a huge increase in the number of employees that could be considered non-exempt. It is likely, as well, that the duties test will mirror the California rules requiring exempt employees to spend more than 50% of their time performing exempt duties. This means that companies will need to categorize primary responsibilities by exemption status as well as track percent of time for each task. Companies will be forced to use these enhanced job descriptions as a measure for ensuring that both the jobs themselves are compliant and that the employee is complying with the job description. Failing to do so could put companies at risk of being out compliance, and that could be costly.
Employers can protect themselves from wage and hour lawsuits by requiring that employees acknowledge and sign-off on their job descriptions every year. JDXpert by HRTMS streamlines this process.
The recent conviction of Belton, Texas-based High Performance Ropes of America on one felony count of making false statements and for repeat and willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act reminds us all of how crucial it is to assure FLSA compliance.
After reading comments on numerous forums and blogs pertaining to FLSA regulations, especially that of the classification of employees as exempt or nonexempt, it seems to me that there is still some confusion on how to properly classify employees. One misconception is that all salaried employees are automatically exempt from overtime pay. Or that an employee is exempt simply because their title appears to fit into an exempt classification. Both are common misunderstandings but I hope that the information below will help you better determine and employee’s status under FLSA regulations.
On August 23, 2004, substantial changes were made to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime regulations. Ever since then, the issue of overtime and defining exempt/nonexempt employees has been a hot topic. FLSA can be intimidating to manage but fortunately many of the common mistakes made by employers can easily be identified and resolved. Below are just a few FLSA mistakes you should try to avoid.
I can still remember the pit I felt in my stomach when I placing my application for a summer internship in a bin with hundreds of hopeful students. I thought I was being proactive! I thought I was taking control of my future! I didn’t think there would be hundreds applying for MY internship! Why did so many of us find internships to be so crucial? My peers and I knew that landing an internship would provide us with experience and a leg up when trying to establish employment after graduation. Paid or unpaid, we didn’t care, as long as we could use it on resumes. Organizations can also benefit greatly from internships but it is important to note key legal issues, primarily that of unpaid internships and FLSA compliance, before entering an internship program.