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Posts published in “FLSA”

Compensable and Non-compensable Travel Time. Do You Know?

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There are many times when an employee may need to travel for business-related purposes. The latter span can include something brief, like a trip to the bank, or a cross-country flight for a business conference and depending upon the circumstances, it can be compensable time. I think the best way to tackle this is to take a look at examples as to what is and what is not: What is NOT compensable Home to work/Work to home (aka commuting) – An employee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her home at the end of the…

Support for Handling Child Support

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With 75% of all child support collected through income withholding by employers, if you have handled payroll for any minimal amount of time, you have most likely needed to comply with a support order. They are long multipage documents with many pitfalls in regards to the proper handling of them. They should not be taken lightly as they are court ordered mandates, and failure to comply properly could mean fines, penalties, liability for the amount of the child support or even U.S. Department of Labor wage and hour violations. Even if the order comes from a court in another state,…

BYOD; Business Use of an Employee’s Personal Device Requires Compensation

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If you have an employee who drives their personal vehicle for a work related matter, it is the norm to reimburse the employee for the business-related use.  It is a straight forward calculation by taking into consideration how many miles the person drove and multiplying it by a rate.   The IRS even publishes a standard mileage rate of .58 cents per mile (2019).  But what if that employee uses their mobile personal device (aka cell phone) in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) workplace? As employers implement paperless, streamlined, and automated solutions to their work environment, we are finding that…

What You Need To Know About Paycheck Stubs

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I have previously written about how to pay, when to pay, and even the method to pay employees, so now let’s look at what needs to be provided to an employee with their check (their pay stub).   Similar to my last article about when a final check is due to a separated employee, there is no Federal law which means the power to dictate is in the hands of each state.  This certainly can become confusing to a company who operates in multiple states, and the best practice here is to comply with the state that has the most requirements. We will…

Now That The Employee Has Separated, When is Their Final Check Due?

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With the exception of four states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi), each state has specific laws regarding the issuance of a final paycheck to a separated employee.  Many states differentiate whether the employee was separated voluntarily or involuntarily, and the timing ranges from “immediately” (yes, this means the same day the employee is terminated) to the next scheduled payday, so I have put together this table for quick and easy reference. Each state has penalties for violation of the final check rule, so be sure you know what is required.    A state such as California will enforce the employer to…

Spring Cleaning? Record Retention Guidelines to Help Clear the Clutter

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A question I am often asked is ‘How long must I maintain my payroll records?’, and the answer is; “it depends”.   Reason being is that there are many different documents that are maintained within the payroll world by a myriad of federal, state, and local agencies, and a lots of overlap.  Some people put a blanket retention policy of seven years across all documents, but in some cases as we will see, even that may not be long enough.  Namely if the records are for an active employee. Let’s take a look at the more popular forms and documents, and bring some order to…

State Minimum Wage Increases 2018

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While the Federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, 18 states and many cities/locals have set increases effective January 1st, 2018.   A list of each state/local, along with the new hourly rate, and a link to the states determination letter or web page is listed below; Alaska: $9.84 an hour Albuquerque, New Mexico: $8.95 Arizona: $10.50 Bernalillo County, New Mexico: $8.85 California: $11.00 for businesses with 26 or more employees; $10.50 for businesses with 25 or fewer employees Colorado: $10.20 Cupertino, California: $13.50 El Cerrito, California: $13.60 Flagstaff, Arizona: $11.00 Florida: $8.25 Hawaii: $10.10 Los Altos, California: $13.50 Maine: $10.00 Michigan: $9.25 Milpitas, California: $12.00 Minneapolis, Minnesota: $10.00 for businesses with more than 100 employees Minnesota: $9.65 for businesses with…

Waiting to be Engaged, or Engaged to Wait?

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Not knowing the difference could result in a costly Department of Labor claim.  Maybe more costly than a divorce. If your employee is Engaged to Wait then that time is considered hours worked.  Conversely, Waiting to be Engaged are off-the-clock hours, thus not hours worked or compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). So what is the difference between the two?  I am glad you asked. Engaged to Wait is time spent primarily for the benefit of the employer, and how much restraint is placed on an employee who is waiting.   Let’s look at a few examples to…

Comp Time: Possible Expansion to Private Employers

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Compensatory time, aka Comp Time, has been an acceptable practice for government employees, but a recent bill passed by the House on May 2nd moves on to the Senate. Comp time is formally defined as time off that is accrued by an employee in exchange for cash overtime pay, or more precisely as 1.5 hours of Comp time in exchange for 1 hour worked of overtime.   While this may be happening in private businesses today, it is currently a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 (H.R. 1180) is looking…

Labor Law Posters – Do I Really Need Them?

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Yes you do! Whether you have just one employee, the organization is a sole proprietor or corporation, nonprofit or for-profit, there are posting requirements (for every worksite) that must be complied with, otherwise the employer will face some fairly hefty penalties should there be a check.   There is also exposure to employee lawsuits which can be more costly than any government agency fine. These days compliance is very easy.  Many office supply stores or even online, sell “all in one” posters, but beware as they are not all created equally and you want to make sure you are covered.…