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Featured White Paper:
HR’s Guide to Workers’ Comp

Workers' comp has been a workplace staple for a long time, but it can confound even the most seasoned employers and HR professionals.

Download this FREE White Paper to learn workers' comp basics, including a lexicon of helpful terms, a workers' comp checklist to help you manage the process, and information about your employees' role in workplace safety.

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Wage and Hour Additional
Additional HR Resources

Understanding HCR
Learn how health care reform will impact your policies and get a timeline of the changes/provisions you must have in place with the all-new HR Hero White Paper

Holiday Discrimination
Learn how to help your workforce enjoy the holidays while respecting traditional and religious beliefs with the free White Paper

50 Laws in 50 States
Compare side by side and see
exactly what employers need to do

Employment Law Manual
All-new 2012 Edition is fully up-to-date with the latest revisions to FMLA and COBRA and other laws!

Overtime Ins and Outs
How FLSA applies to exempt and non-exempt employees

An "Expecting" Employee
Download your FREE White Paper on potential legal pitfalls when dealing with pregnant employees and new parents.

First Line of Defense
DVD-based training for supervisors on the most critical legal issues

Wage & Hour Desk Reference
The ultimate resource for
overtime, minimum wage, and more

Discover policy pitfalls
Audit your workplace policies
before a plaintiff’s attorney does

Wage & Hour Law DVD
Train top executives in this hot
area of employment litigation

Wage and Hour Employment Law

Wage and hour law refers to the body of law that establishes and regulates wage standards, including, but not limited to, minimum wage and overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the majority of wage and hour law at the federal level. Other factors, however, control minimum wage as well. The IRS, for example, sets the parameters for when an individual working for tips can work for less than the federal standard minimum wage.

Mastering HR Report: Overtime

Many states and some cities have wage and hour laws as well. These laws govern issues such as minimum wage, overtime, and meal breaks. The governing bodies in several urban areas throughout the country have voted to create a “living wage” on top of the FLSA and state standards.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

State-by-state comparison of 50 employment laws in all 50 states, including wage laws

Overtime
Generally, the FLSA requires most employers to pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours in a given workweek at a rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. At the federal level, wage and hour law is usually overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and it’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

HR Guide to Employment Law: A practical compliance reference manual covering 14 topics, including overtime and FLSA requirements

Exempt vs non-exempt employees
Of primary importance to overtime standards is whether an employee falls under exempt or non-exempt classifications. The FLSA contains dozens of exemptions, which basically provide that specific categories of employers and employees aren’t subject to the Act’s overtime requirements. Most common are the “white-collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees, computer professionals, and outside sales employees.

Employers also need to be careful that workers classified as independent contractors and trainees meet those particular standards to avoid FLSA violations.

Learn more about wage laws and correctly classifying workers in the Wage and Hour Compliance Manual

Comp time
Comp-time systems are illegal only for non-exempt employees. Because employers don’t have to pay exempt employees overtime to begin with, comp time arrangements with them are usually fine, so long as they don’t interfere with the salaried basis of pay if that’s a requirement for their particular exemption.

There’s no need for the public employers reading this to panic and start cashing out their comp-time banks. Public-sector employers are a bit different. Public agencies, such as local, state, and federal governments, are permitted to implement comp-time systems under strict statutory requirements.

Audit your wage and hour and employee classification policies and practices with the Employment Practices Self-Audit Workbook

Bottom line
Employers must pay close attention to these federal standards for overtime and minimum wage, but also any state laws regarding payroll specifications (direct deposit and paycheck deductions), employee tips, pay periods, and much more at the state level as well.