Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, September 11, 2006

Top 5 FLSA Mistakes


Thanks to Michael Harris at the EASI blog for his link to an article on the workforce.com site, Top Five Employer Mistakes Under the FLSA. Given the complexity of the FLSA one might quibble with limiting the list to five, but there is no question these are problematic:

1. Believing salaried employees are automatically exempt from overtime;
2. Misclassifying assistant managers;
3. Automatic deductions for meal breaks;
4. Not paying for overtime that has not been approved in advance;
5. Allowing employees to “waive” their rights under the FLSA.

For those in states, unlike Texas, which have their own wage and hour laws which are different from the federal rules, it is very important to make sure you are in compliance with both. For example, California rules on assistant managers are different from the FLSA, which has caused a number of employers considerable pain.

The problem with allowing employees to waive their rights under the FLSA is that it is not a valid waiver unless in connection with litigation or supervised by the Department of Labor.

Michael was exactly right on another point -- this has become a hot button issue, particularly for plaintiffs' lawyers, which of course means employers as well.

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