Proven Tips for Employers to Avoid Fair Labor Standards Act Violation

Established in the year 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has experienced multiple amendments over time. This law governs multiple facets of employment, including overtime, minimum wage, employee benefits, and child labor statutes. A labour law consultant is important for businesses to ensure they abide by the FLSA policies.

labour law consultant - Fair Labor Standards Act Violation

The FLSA legislation is quite complex and often companies end up violating certain principles of this enactment. That being said, violation of FLSA is even more prevalent in the digital mode of working, in which businesses tend to work more with independent contractors. There isn’t any direct and clear answer to whether the hours spent working from home are considered overtime, what hours can be compensated, and many more. As a result, major employment statutes are violated, which leads to damaging and expensive lawsuits.

That being said, however, there are a few ways by which the employers can avoid FLSA violations and work in compliance with the law.

How Can You Prevent FLSA Violation?

Have Well-Defined Policies for Non-Exempt Employees

The companies must have well-defined policies for their non-exempt employees to be on the safe side at all times. Here are some of the tips you can follow:

  • Never allow a non-exempt employee to access his/her work mail account remotely.
  • If a non-exempt employee has been permitted access to his/her work mail account at home, make sure that he/she is given the compensation for the time invested in checking and answering the mails.
  • Make sure that the non-exempt employees aren’t getting any emails or text messages after their regular working hours.

Develop Complaint Policies

It is important for every company to have clearly outlined complaint policies for its employees. Developing effective complaint policies can provide your employees with an internal platform to find the remedy of a potential problem before the issue becomes bigger and takes the form of a lawsuit.

Consider a situation in which one of your employees thinks he/she is not paid for his/her overtime work, which he/she lawfully deserved. In such a scenario, a reliable complaint policy can give your concerned employee an opportunity to issue a complaint by sticking to your company’s guidelines. This, in turn, will provide you a chance to address the matter in your organization itself before your concerned employee feels the need for seeking legal help.

Ensure Managers Are Aware of FLSA policies

It is a matter of fact that the managers monitor the work of the employees and exercise the greatest control over them to make sure they work in accordance with the policies of the company so that the violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act can be avoided. Hence, it becomes important for a company to give proper training to the managers and make sure they clearly know and understand the guidelines of FLSA policies in order to enforce them adequately. As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure that:

  • Your managers do not send emails or text messages to the non-exempt employees after they are done for the day or are off-duty.
  • If your managers have assigned a task to a non-exempt employee that requires them to work for additional time, the concerned employee should be paid the amount he/she deserves for the extra hours.

Have Clear Instructions for Your Employees

As an employer, it is important for you to have clear and strict guidelines for your employees pertaining to FLSA policies. Here are some of the regulations that should be listed out by every business.

  • Your employees should not be allowed to have their lunch at the work desk. However, if a particular employee faces the need for answering to an official phone call or email during the lunch break, he/she should be paid for that extra time.
  • Make sure your employees are not arriving before their official start time. However, if an employee arrives at the workplace early and works on an assigned task, he/she should be paid for the same.
  • You may prefer having an official policy against unofficial overtime or unofficial work.

The Bottom Line

The consequences faced by employers for breaching FLSA are usually significant. You may have to compensate twice the total amount of the unpaid wage of the concerned employee, coupled with the employee’s attorney fees. In order to avoid such a scenario, you can get in touch with a reputed labour law consultant.

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Article Author Details

Amy Jones

Amy Jones is an expert legal advisor working at Ahlawat & Associates, a well-known top law firms in India. She is one of the foremost lawyers in India who loves to help people in all aspects of the practice area.