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Wage and Hour Archives

Don't Be Caught In The Middle of A Wage Dispute: Here's What To Avoid

Wage disputes caused by improper employee classifications are in the spotlight again. This time the Department of Labor (DOL) focus was on the classification of food truck managers as salaried versus hourly employees. Upon review of the allegations, the DOL sided with employees, requiring restaurant chain Clover Food Lab to pay $79,337 in back wages and fines. The company's owner, Ayr Muir, contends that his business has always done its best to stay "on the up-and-up" and did not intentionally misclassify employees. Despite his strong objection, Muir has no recourse short of a cost-prohibitive lawsuit against the DOL. Here's his side of the story.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division Has Released Three Opinion Letters

Employers and workers both have a great deal more clarity on some issues following three opinion letters recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This practice, which is back in force again after a 7-year hiatus, provides the department's opinion on the interpretation of the law when presented with a specific set of facts.

Know The Law: Is it Legal To Give Company-Wide Bonuses Instead of Overtime?

When business is booming, it's definitely a cause for celebration. As things start to get busier, asking your employees to pick up some extra hours is a common practice. You may be planning on rewarding your staff with a company-wide bonus, but if you intend to do this in lieu of overtime pay, you need to think again.

Should National Minimum Wage Standards Vary By Region?

The first minimum wage law was passed in Massachusetts in 1912. Since that time, the legality, logistics, and effectiveness of a minimum wage have been hotly debated. There is a new push to change the one-size-fits-all minimum wage regulations in favor of a more flexible, and possibly more effective, regional minimum wage.

The Trump Administration's Department of Labor Is Changing The Way Employers Distribute Tips and Restaurant Workers Aren't Happy

Recently proposed changes to the handling of tip distribution may create major issues for restaurant employees. In July of this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its intention to reverse current Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules expressly prohibiting the pooling of tips with anyone other than a valid pool of other tipped employees. These regulations, which went into effect in 2011 under the Obama administration, clearly designate tips as the property of the employees who earned them. As such, employers are prohibited from using this money for anything other than minimum wage tip credit.

Florida Minimum Wage Set To Increase Jan 1, 2018: What Employers Should Know

Since the Florida minimum wage law was passed in 2004, Florida employers are responsible for keeping up with both state and Federal regulations. On January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Florida is set to increase. Here's what you need to know.

When Does an Employer Have to Pay Overtime in Florida?

Employers in Florida have an obligation to familiarize themselves with overtime pay regulations. Employers are subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as state law.The Federal overtime rules state that all non-exempt employees must be paid a rate of 1.5 times their regular wage for any hours worked over the standard 40-hour work-week. These regulations are enforced by the United States Department of Labor (DOL).What is NOT Covered by Overtime Rules?For employees over the age of 16, there are no rules limiting the number of hours an employee can work in a single week. There is also no mandatory increase in pay for working on weekends, nights, or holidays unless the worker has exceeded a 40-hour work week.Understanding Overtime CalculationsEmployers may find themselves in violation of overtime rules if they fail to understand the calculation details. Here are some of the most common mistakes employers make.Improperly Defining the Work Week

The FLSA defines a work week as a regularly-occurring period of seven consecutive 24-hour periods. This does not necessarily have to be a calendar-week. The "week" can start on any day and at any time of the day as long as the 7-day period is consistent from one pay period to the next.It's important to note that hours worked cannot be averaged over a period of two weeks or more. Doing so will clearly put you in violation of the rules.Underestimating Base PayWhen calculating overtime pay, you must understand the base rate at which the 1.5 multiplier applies. In many cases, bonus pay is required to be included in this calculation.Failing to Pay on Time

When overtime applies, the additional wages typically must be paid on the regular payday for the week in which the extra hours were worked.Failure to ComplyEmployers who fail to comply with Federal overtime regulations may be subject to private lawsuits by their employees. In addition, if the DOL discovers violations, they will typically require employers to pay employees back wages owed and offer solutions to remedy the problem.Employers who have been found to willfully violate overtime rules are subject to a fine of $10,000 and criminal prosecution. If a second offense occurs, imprisonment is possible. Repeated violations can also result in civil monetary penalties that apply individually to each violation.Exempt Employees

Certain types of employees are considered exempt from overtime rules. Employers are not required to pay overtime wages for certain exempt positions. Details regarding exemptions can be found on the US Department of Labor website.The key to avoiding problems with overtime pay is to clearly understand your obligations to your employees. If you aren't sure whether your employees are exempt from overtime provisions or need further clarification regarding the calculation rules, contact your local Wage and Hour District Office for assistance or contact us at Danz & Kronengold, PL. at our website danzlaw.net.

"Raise The Wage" Battles Roars On, But How Will It Affect Florida?

The "Fight for 15" movement has seen a lot of action over the past few years, and that action has helped to raise the wages of many people in areas around the country. In Florida, though, attempts to raise wages have had mixed results, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

Raising Minimum Wage and Implications for Employers

What's going on with minimum wage? Employers must be aware that there is somewhat of a discrepancy between the federal minimum wage and the cost of living in 2016. This past Sunday, July 24, was the seventh year that the federal minimum wage has remained the same, even with the increased cost of daily expenses. The cost of living has risen 12% since 2009, leaving the actual value of minimum wage crashing to the ground. This is a huge step down from the days before Reagan, when the minimum wage started to fall. In 1968 minimum wage was at its highest. If we look at the dive from that peak, the value has dropped more than 25%.

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