Hi readers, I am Karen Rehn, CEO of HH Staffing Services in Sarasota Florida. I have over 26 years of staffing experience and spend many hours a week consulting with our client and job seeking population. I blog daily on the hottest issues in your industries and work hard to spread my experiences with customers, college grads, job seekers, local businesses and organizations. Ask The Boss is a great outlet for our job seekers and customers to write in and ask direct questions to problems they are currently encountering. This weeks question is from an a local Sarasota business. A manager is wondering if we could provide some pointers when it comes to dealing with overtime and employees. Great DISCUSSION!
Some weeks, 40 hours simply doesn’t cut it. There may be too much to do, and too little time to do it in. It’s in these circumstances that many employers of Sarasota jobs find themselves face to face with handling overtime for their employees.
There are certain laws, federal and state, that govern how employers are expected to handle overtime for their employees. If you aren’t following these laws and regulations, you’re opening yourself, and the company, up to a lawsuit.
Sarasota Jobs: Overtime Violations to Avoid
Federal and state overtime laws are serious and violations can lead to serious problems in the court room. Here are just a few examples of situations that violate these regulations.
- You have employees record on their time sheets that they have only worked their scheduled amount of hours this week, even though they have worked overtime.
- Employees receive 30 minutes of break time each day for lunch that is unpaid. However, she is often interrupted with work problems during this time or is forced to cut her lunch time short to get back to work. Despite this, she is not paid for the overtime this results in.
- You refuse to begin calculating an employee’s work time until they actually begin performing the tasks they are assigned to do at work. This means that even though they are checking their work emails, voicemail, or messages for the first five to fifteen minutes after they arrive at work, they are not being paid for their time. This mean seem trivial, but it can mean more than an hour of overtime every week.
- Employees work overtime this week, but in order to avoid actually paying for the overtime, employers force them to add these hours to the following week’s schedule. Then, they reduce the number of hours the employee works the next week so it does not appear that they have worked any overtime at all.
Each of these situations is illegal, and not tolerated by federal or state courts. Employers have to pay workers for overtime, and must pay attention to the time worked by their staff. If they quit working at the correct time each day, but spend fifteen minutes sending quick emails to customer or putting their supplies away, they are still working.
The problem is, many employees don’t realize that these continued actions constitute overtime. They simply know they have to get things done and often go over their intended schedule but don’t report it “out of the goodness of their heart.” Despite their good intentions, overtime still must be paid and these situations must be addressed to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
How to Properly Avoid Paying Overtime for Sarasota Jobs
If you know your company can’t handle the financial burden of paying for overtime, don’t attempt to sidestep legislation by forcing your employees to not record their proper hours. Instead, create an overtime policy that dictates how overtime will be applied. Make sure that when employees are hired they know they must obtain permission to work overtime and help them understand that clocking out and stopping their work at the appropriate time is essential.
Keep in mind, however, that even with these policies, employees who work over their scheduled hours must still be paid for their time.
Please remember Karen Rehn’s blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or Legal. Do you have a problem? We want to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org. Email us today!
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