How many of your companies have been effected by the current economy? How many was the effect good?How many of your business have been hurt by the economy? Do you feel like your company has been under fire?How many of you have felt the effects of the economy personally? I think we all have. Whether we have been stressed about work, worried about family or have our own personal financial stresses with the current economy.In this presentation we are going to discuss some of the factors facing employers today due to the economy and some ways that you can help prevent them from happening and also ways to protect your organization.
How many of you have seen little kids play with animals (dogs and cats)?What usually happens? The Child thinks that they are friends and that they are playing together, but the animal is typically scared and getting hurt so eventually growls, bits, scratches or whatever it can to protect itself which in turn hurts/scares the child so the child will stop. I think this picture is awesome. This little boy thinks that he and the dog are a great team and is so excited to be with this dog. Look at the dog. He is in defense mode! He is sticking around for incase it actually is fun or in fear, but his stance says he is ready to bolt at any given moment.
Maybe you think claims are common, but it won’t happen to your company because your employees have been with the company for years and they are committed. You have taken care of them in the past, so they will weather the storm through these rough times even if you may not be in compliance.
You never know when your employees have decided they have more loyal to the company than the company has been to them, and will file a claim. You can’t afford to be out of compliance, because of the time and money it could cost your company.
At ESG we work with varying sizes of companies and all types of industries so we are exposed to a lot of creative ways of compensating employees. Many are industry trends, even if they are not compliant and many are just common misconceptions. What do you think are some of the most common mistakes that employers make with Wage and Hours? There are treats for those who participate. You don’t have to get it right to get a treat, but you do have to participate.(Give out small candy bars for all those that give ideas then go through the bulleted items giving examples of how companies have made these mistakes.) Banking Hours: We don’t offer our employees paid leave, so instead of paying them overtime, we just bank these hours so they can take time off in the future when we aren’t so busy and they can still get paid. Their banked hours is time and a half just like overtime would be. 1099: My employee wanted to be an independent contractor and all the other companies in this industry do it, so I just decided to let my employees decide if they want to be independent contractors or employees. Exempt vs Non-Exempt: Usually we get calls from employees on this. They say that they were given a promotion at work and they made them salaried employees. They were excited at first because they felt like it was a great opportunity to move up in the company but their job duties didn’t change, they just started working more hours and not getting paid for them. Piece Rate: My guy were just wasting the time on the job, so I decided that they should only get paid for work that they do and pay them piece rate. So I don’t track their time.
Here are a few ideas to help protect your company.The only area that we are really going to spend much time on is FLSA and Documentation because this is the area that we have seen companies are not sure of. The first and most important thing you need to know to protect your company is to understand and know FLSA laws.FLSA is a Huge topic, so we are going to review some of the more common mistakes employers make and if you are worried that you may have be out of compliance, Contact your HRC and they can answer your questions, and perhaps even do a little mini audit.DocumentationEven if you are doing everything correctly if you have no proof, it becomes the employees word against your word and you may loose a wage claim.CommunicateIf employees feel like their employer is open and honest with them through these rough times and lets them know where they are at, it will help alleviate some of their stress and more committed to the company. Often most employees stress is the unknown or worried that their employee will try to hurt them like the little boy with the puppy.Provide ResourcesThere are EAP services, some financial services, and it may be a good idea to have a resource on different low to now cost options s provided by government agencies for those employees that may need additional help.
Entrepreneurial Dilemma – You had a great idea and started a company. To keep growing you have to hire employees. As soon as you hire an employee you become subject to a lot of administrative headache. Our goal is to help you continue to grow your company without the administrative headache. You focus on what you do best – your company! Let us do what we do best – the administrative part of that…In this context – You started your company to make money, but when you hire employees your administrative burden increases. Here’s what you need to do to make sure you can protect the company you worked so hard to create!!Remember – the FLSA is very complex…make sure you have help to understand all of the related issues. We’ve only addressed a few common mistakes employers make when it comes to the FLSA. There is quite a bit more!!ESG can come do a mini-audit for you.Make sure to document – remember the guy who was fired for the drug screen and successfully sued his company because the printer broke and they didn’t have a copy of the result?
In the current economic environment, employees are more likely to fire claims against their employer. WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO TO TAKE CONTROL?
Dwight Schrute on Loyalty “Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most.” ~ Dwight Schrute: The Office
Recent Trend in Claims 42% increase in Wage Claims 2,714 claims in Utah July 2009 184 claims Record # of Wage Claims for 2008 Fiscal year Multiple filings with same company
What are the Penalties? Outstanding Wages 5% interest up to 20 days This equals the wage claim amount so you end up paying double the outstanding wage.
Wage and Hour Enforcement Obama’s 2010 Budget includes 17% increase in enforcement budget 22% increase in Full-time employees Purpose: Conduct more targeted investigations To maximize compliance Focus on low-wage industries that employ vulnerable workers
Common Errors Employers Make Banking Hours Independent Contractors Tip Reporting Salaried Employees Youth Jobs (mowing lawns) Pay employee from multiple entities Ask employees to do work off the clock Pay piece rate without tracking hours Paying payroll late because of funding issues Payroll deductions
FLSA Basics Minimum wage and overtime requirements Equal pay Calculate overtime Rest and Meal Periods Recordkeeping requirements Exemptions from overtime requirements Deductions from pay Independent Contractors vs Employee Tip Reporting Child labor laws
Minimum Wage July 24, 2009 $7.25 Federal versus state requirements Minimum wage/overtime posters Make sure you updated your posters with new min wage rate.
Equal Pay Equal Pay Act Comparison of jobs Prohibited pay differentials Permitted pay differentials
Hours of Work FLSA requires regular and overtime pay Hours worked Workweek Split shifts Training programs, lectures, and meetings Holidays, vacations, and sick days Report-in pay
Overtime Overtime for hours worked over 40 Averaging hours prohibited Holiday/sick pay not included On-call and travel time may be included Employee rights Time of payment
Calculating Overtime Fixed 40-hour workweek Fixed workweek of fewer than 40 hours
Why You Need to Know Wage and hour issues are critical to the operation of the organization FLSA determinations may be difficult The law affects employee compensation You play an important role in compliance
Virtual DOL Audit Employee Complaint or Watch List Notification Letter Prepare Documentation Meeting Minimum Wage Overtime Child Labor
Virtual DOL Audit Interview Employees Their best recollection… Decision Letter/Meeting Back Wages Owed Penalties
Utah Wage Claim Notification Letter Pay or Fight Documentation Possible Hearing/Mediation Decision Letter
How to Protect your Company Understand FLSA Laws Audit current practices Documentation Communicate with employees Provide resources to employees Partner with ESG!!!