Employers are subject to complicated wage and hour laws and must follow not just the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but also the wage and hour laws of the states in which they do business. State laws are often inconsistent or more expansive than the FLSA, creating pitfalls for the unwary. Heavy penalties await employers found to be out of compliance in department of labor enforcement investigations, and a prevailing plaintiff’s entitlement to attorneys’ fees has made wage-hour claims popular with the plaintiffs’ bar as they have outpaced all other types of employment claims.
Our Wage & Hour Compliance Group assists clients in identifying and addressing risky pay practices before they become claims. In the event claims do arise, we regularly represent our clients in investigations by state and U.S. Departments of Labor. Also, we regularly defend employers in state and federal court against wage and hour claims including class and collective actions (please see our Employment Law & Litigation Practice Group).
Our Wage & Hour Compliance & Dispute Resolution Group provides:
- Self-audits: We help our clients determine whether their pay and record-keeping practices should be changed or updated before they lead to expensive wage claims. Self-audits can focus on specific job classifications or be company-wide. During the self-audit, we identify potential compliance issues and help our clients eliminate risk to the organization. The typical self-audit will focus on:
- Whether overtime is calculated correctly and whether the calculation captures all includible income
- Employee eligibility for overtime exemptions
- Whether overtime exempt employees are correctly paid on a “salary basis"
- Potential misclassification of employees as independent contractors
- Whether the “tip credit” is being used appropriately and properly calculated
- Compensability of on-call time, meal and rest periods, travel and commuting time and off-the-clock work
- Whether the Motor Carrier Act exemption is applied properly
- Compliance with recordkeeping and notice-posting requirements
- Policy and Job Description Design: We have extensive experience advising our clients on the structure of their compensation policies and practices. These policies cover what constitute “hours worked” as opposed to non-compensable time, paid time off, on-call time, employee loans and advances, commissions and bonus pay and overtime, including the “fluctuating workweek” method.
- Agency Investigations: We regularly represent clients in all aspects of government investigation of wage claims. This includes responding to subpoenas, counsel during the investigation and responding to any resulting assessments and penalties consistent with our clients’ business objectives. When a satisfactory resolution cannot be had, we represent our client before Wage Referees and Administrative Law Judges.