Your business may be violating overtime laws without you even knowing it. Inadvertent violations of state and federal laws are more common than you think. There are complex rules that govern how you must compensate your employees. These laws can be confusing even if you have been in business for decades.
If you fail to meet the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, you may face lawsuits from your employees. Thankfully, you can avoid claims of unpaid overtime by prioritizing compliance. Here are a few tips for protecting your workplace from overtime liabilities.
1. Review and enforce policies
Your policies may be outdated and require an update. Some policies you should have include the following:
- Employees must record their work times
- Employees must not work off-the-clock
- Employees must take rest and meal breaks
Once you know these policies are in place, make sure those who work for you are enforcing them out in the field. Just because a policy exists is not enough. Your employees must know about them and follow them.
2. Automate hour tracking
Filling in time sheets and manually creating schedules means there is more room for error. Computer systems are much more accurate and easy to use. Implement a computer system whenever possible to keep track of overtime standards, rest periods, meal breaks and child labor restrictions.
3. Help employees complain
It may sound counterintuitive to support employees in making complaints, but it will actually help. Establish methods for your workers to complain outside of the management system. Make sure all complaints are promptly investigated and resolved. When your employees feel heard and appreciated, they will be less likely to bring lawsuits against you.
The thought of an FLSA lawsuit may scare you. The last thing you want is for one of your employees to put the success of your company at risk. Follow these guidelines and get legal help to avoid overtime pitfalls.