Employers are subject to multiple, and sometimes inconsistent, federal and state wage and hour laws which carry heavy penalties for non-compliance. Not surprisingly, wage and hour claims are on the rise. Our Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group assists clients in identifying and addressing risky pay practices before they become claims. In the event claims are filed, we regularly represent our clients in investigations and resulting litigation before the U.S. and state Departments of Labor. Our firm also regularly defends employers in State and Federal Court, including wage and hour class and collective actions (See Employment Law & Litigation Practice Group).
The services our Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group provides include the following:
- Self-Audits: We help our clients determine whether pay and record keeping practices should be changed or updated before they lead to expensive wage claims. Self-audits can be focused on specific job classifications or applied company-wide. During the self-audit, we identify possible compliance issues and recommend business solutions to eliminate the risk to the organization going forward. We regularly advise our clients on such issues as:
- the appropriate methods for calculating overtime
- whether employees qualify for overtime exemptions
- whether exempt employees are appropriately paid on a “salary basis”
- the potential misclassification of employees as independent contractors
- whether the “tip credit” is available and how it should be calculated
- the application of New Jersey’s qualified overtime exemption for certain drivers
- the compensability of on-call time, meal and rest periods, travel and commuting time and off-the-clock work
- compliance with record keeping and notice posting requirements
- Policy and Job Description Design: We have extensive experience counseling clients on the design of their compensation policies and practices. These policies cover what constitutes “hours worked” as opposed to non-compensable time, paid time off, on-call time, employee loans and advances, commissions and bonus pay, and the various permissible overtime calculation methods including the “fluctuating workweek” method.
- Agency Investigations: We regularly represent clients in all aspects of investigations of wage claims at both the state and federal enforcement agency level. This includes responding to Division of Wage & Hour subpoenas, representing the client during the investigation itself, and then responding to any resulting assessments and penalties, consistent with the client’s business goals. This also includes representing our clients before Wage Referees on individual wage claims.
Contact: John R. Vreeland, Esq.
Chair of the Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group