Technology Changes Compensable Time According to the FLSA
Did any of your employees get a new Smart phone over the holidays? Are your employees “classified” correctly? Are you paying overtime for hours or even minutes that employees are using those new Smart phones? These are two of the most recent issues that the Department of Labor is targeting in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The 2012 Department of Labor budget includes $46 million and the hiring of 90 new DOL investigators to address worker misclassification. The increased enforcement of misclassification by employers is supposed to bring in $7 billion for the Federal Government over the next 10 years, so you’d better believe they are serious about it! They will be focusing on employers that misclassify their employees as “independent contractors” rather than “employees”, and “exempt” when they should be “non-exempt”.
Another issue that the DOL is cracking down on is technology usage as it relates to compensable time. As more employees are utilizing Smart phones and PDAs, they are becoming available to answer work emails, texts, and instant messages 24/7. With this constant availability, more claims of not being paid overtime are being brought against employers. Do you have a policy for compensating your employees for responding to afterhours work requests? How about the time spent booting up and down computers for your non-exempt employees? As technology changes in the 21st century, compensable time is also changing.
Let HR Strategies help ensure that your Managers are trained to comply with the FLSA.