Many small business owners have made resolutions for the year ahead for their business' success. But in order to be successful, businesses need to be in compliance with the law. As we are already one month into the New Year, small business owners and employers across the board should really take time to review their overtime policies as part of their 2013 resolutions to ensure they are in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

When employees are salaried, rather than hourly, many employers assume that their salaried employees are exempt from overtime, which is not always the case. The Department of Labor (DOL) reviews an employee’s job duties and not just payment type when they decide if an employee is eligible for overtime. Because of this, many businesses are not in compliance with the FLSA.

When business owners are not in compliance with the FLSA or Texas overtime laws, they risk fines and lawsuits. To avoid overtime lawsuits, business owners should take these steps:

  • Review overtime policies of both state and federal labor laws with a Texas employment and labor attorney to ensure your overtime policies are accurate.
  • Review employee classifications and job descriptions to ensure that those who are classified as exempt really should be.
  • Talk to exempt employees to find out how many hours they spend on work generally done by hourly employees. If you need to reclassify them to nonexempt, do so.
  • Educate managers and supervisors about FLSA and overtime issues to determine who is an exempt employee and make sure managers understand why it is important.
  • Communicate your policy with employees so that they know who can work overtime, what counts as overtime work, and how to request overtime work.
  • Check the company’s overtime records and pay any unpaid overtime immediately.
  • Know if your industry is more prone to FLSA violations, and pay close attention to overtime issues.
  • Keep current with DOL policies and emerging trends in lawsuits.

Because overtime issues are complicated, it is best to be proactive and involve your human resources staff and a lawyer skilled in employment law in Texas. This way, you may be able to avoid overtime lawsuits and investigations by DOL for wage and hour violations. If you haven’t taken a close look at the FLSA standards and your own overtime policies, you need to make time before this year passes you by. 

The Posey Law Firm can help you. Call us today toll free at 888-269-1962 or locally at 512-646-0828 to schedule a consultation.