"wages/hours" Blog Tag

MN I gotta do what?

July 8th, 2019 by Ashley Thronson at Fredrikson & Byron

What mn

You gotta make changes because changes have been made to various disclosure, recordkeeping, commission and/or sick leave requirements. And Bruce Boudreau, like you, wants to know what they are.

Lucky for you and Bruce that Ashley Thronson has laid out your need-to-know in 800 words (or thereabouts). And for those of you who are PBS fans, she does it without an Australian accent, dontcha know.

Summertime and HR - dress codes, office picnics, manning the grill

June 25th, 2019 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Underwear boy

Somebody shows up at the office in essentially shamrock underwear.

Finances dictate you terminate someone so you tell them you will pay them their accrued vacation pay if they will release all claims.

Your mail room clerk says the office manager asked her to man the grill at the office picnic - who's grilling who?

The office softball team and workers' comp – 'nuff said.

Robin Shea says more about all of this.

Gift cards, taxes and the WABAC Machine

June 6th, 2019 by Melissa Shimizu and Jeffrey Smith at Fisher Phillips

Wabac machine

The WABAC Machine revisits the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

In light of the iTunes shutdown, we wondered how that might affect your employees and the drawer full of gift cards - iTunes, Chipotle, Target, Starbucks, Subway (come on, you're better than that), Ulta -  that you have been giving out for holidays, incentives, employee achievement awards, and winning the St. Pats Day karaoke tournament.

So we got into our WABAC machine - the cartoon version, not the internet archive - and went down the wormhole of the 2017 Tax Reform, which affected not only gift cards but health care, retirement plans, employee compensation, and other fringe benefits.

Melissa Shimizu and Jeffrey Smith take you back and promise to return you, unharmed but wiser, just like Simon and Mr. Peabody always did.

Employees are volunteers if . . .

April 17th, 2019 by Michael J. Lorden at Polsinelli

. . . they truly volunteer.

[vol-uh n-teer]: a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.

Michael Lorden breaks down what that means, helps decipher the U.S. Department of Labor's Opinion Letter and provides two voluntary guidelines.


Paying Tipped Employees

January 17th, 2019 by Darin Williams at Laner Muchin

If you pay tipped employees, you are familiar with the 80/20 rule.

Lucky for you, that familiarity is no longer necessary because the DOL has reissued a 2009 opinion letter that essentially abandons the 80/20 tip credit rule.

Darin Williams clarifies the abandoning.

Why You Should Care About Employment Law

January 16th, 2019 by Jenny Goltz at Cozen O'Connor

Common Pitfalls for Emerging Companies Founders of emerging companies are often first-time employers and find themselves having to wade through the dense patchwork of state and federal labor and employment laws. This can be a confusing undertaking that often requires legal counsel. However, there are a few very common employment law pitfalls that all emerging com...

Workplace Christmas Quiz (this is legit and will secondarily eat up some time before you get to go home)

December 24th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Ralphie slide

One of our favorites, Robin Shea, invites you into her Christmas HR world with a Christmas-themed quiz featuring:

  • Santa
  • Bob Cratchit
  • circumnavigating the globe in one evening in a sleigh pulled by reindeer
  • Ralphie
  • Rudolph
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • The Grinch.

Thanks Robin!

And to all a good night!

2019 minimum wage chart

December 17th, 2018 by Shenna Harris, Jill Kirila and Meghan Hill at Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs, the author of our Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide, put together a minimum wage chart for pretty much everywhere and anywhere. The chart, along with lots of other good stuff, can be found in the book, which in turn can be found in this drop-down menu, which in turn can be used to order the book.

Holiday stew – ingredients for a happy and non-litigious holiday

November 19th, 2018 by hrsimple

Holiday stew – we all have our own recipe, but the base is almost always the same: booze, mistletoe and a generous pinch of unapproved time off. And be sure you don't have enough time to prepare or clean up.

Join Gary Wheeler and Lori Mans for an hour as they provide the ingredients and know-how to help you salvage your holiday stew, including 1/2 half dry cup Secret Santa, 2 - 3 jiggers holiday party(s) - adjust accordingly, 1 medium ugly sweater, 14 oz box decorations (workplace or workspace, depending on your preference), enough year-end bonus calculation to make your eyes water

My holiday stew was oyster stew that my Mom made for Christmas Eve. Never did learn why.

Overtime, daylight savings time and circadian rhythyms

November 2nd, 2018 by Maria Greco Danaher and Hera S. Arsen, Ph.D. at Ogletree Deakins

Daylight savings time is no excuse for not paying overtime. 

Maria Greco Danaher and Hera S. Arsen, Ph.D. look at four wage/hour issues that the extra hour of sleep may create.

  1. double pay for 1:00am to 2:00am?
  2. employer's overtime obligations
  3. effects on regular rate of pay
  4. plan ahead for losing an hour of sleep in March

Daylight savings time is also:

  • a song by the Circadian Rhythms (false, but it should be)
  • a method of birth control practiced by crickets and/or locusts (could be, prove that it isn't)
  • opposed by both the Barbeque Industry of America and the Amateur Softball Association (makes sense)
  • illegal in Arizona (not illegal, just ignored)

401(k) plan + payroll provider = 401k good things

October 17th, 2018 by Jennifer Ready at HK Finanical Services

Combining your 401(k) plan administration with your payroll provider might sound like putting all of your eggs into one basket, but there are some true benefits to administrators for integrating support for these two functions. Anyone who works with 401(k) plans knows there are strict compliance requirements to managing a plan. Not only are there reporting requirements, but the timing of everything that makes a 401(k) plan run smoothly, is also critically important.

Help hiring holiday help here

October 2nd, 2018 by John Monroe and Kristina Griffin at FordHarrison

As you can tell by the “seasonal” aisle of your local drug store, holiday season has begun! The seemingly endless stretch of celebrations from October to January brings with it a whole cornucopia of HR issues – including the use of seasonal workers.

Your personal guides / goblins / gobblers / elves, John Monroe and Kristina Griffin, have five basic practices that will get you to the other side of January.

  1. I-9
  2. review timekeeping
  3. local PTO and benefits
  4. how long do you expect them to hang around
  5. train everybody.

Only 90 days until we flip the calendar. You're welcome.

Are the new DOL opinion letters like noses?

October 1st, 2018 by Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Opinions are like noses - everyone has one and occasionally we blow it.

Except when you are the DOL you just issue another opinion letter. The nose thing? That takes a rhinoplastologist. But it doesn't take near as long to correct.

Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris put their eyes and ears on some DOLs opinions:

  • voluntary employer-sponsored wellness events
  • non-profit graders
  • internet payment software platform employees
  • movie theater overtime exemption

Disclaimer – this is neither an endorsement or solicitation for any ENT or opthamologic work.


I've changed my name – to Optimus Prime

September 21st, 2018 by hrsimple

So say an employee, let's call him, for purposes of this exercise, Scott Edward Nall, walks into your office to let you know he has changed his name to Optimus Prime.  Do you:

  1. snicker and ask him if his Laser Axe Hand is really made of energy
  2. wonder why he isn't riding a dinosaur
  3. fall to your knees and plead fealty
  4. start the process of updating Mr. Prime in your HR records.

Should you give your employees a little Slack – or do they have enough already?

July 30th, 2018 by Caroline Pham and Collin Cook at Fisher Phillips

Slack is:

  1. the fastest growing business application in history
  2. two casual trouser
  3. enough rope for someone to shoot themselves in the foot
  4. all of the above

Correct. And for those unfamiliar with Slack the business application, it is a cloud-based “team collaboration tool.” In simple terms, it is Facebook Chat / Google Hangouts for the business world: an instant messaging application that allows users to send messages and share files through online conversations.

It is also one more technological "upgrade" that creates new opportunities for harassment, wage/hour issues and privacy concerns.

Caroline Pham and Collin Cook provide what to look for and best practices to help you avoid the foot shooting thing.

Bet employers must make: call and raise your minimum wage

July 26th, 2018 by hrsimple

July 1 saw a number of states and localities raise the minimum wage, so our author Ogletree Deakins put together a chart for those of you who don't want to pass and go bust. 

FYI – poker will be eligible for review for becoming an official Olympic sport along with pole-dancing, dodgeball, foosball (table soccer), arm wrestling, foot golf and kettlebell lifting.

The six step DOL audit polka

July 10th, 2018 by Carol Barnett at Polsinelli

Texas two-step, three-step waltz, tango four-step, five-step cha-cha-cha!

All require coordination, dedication, teamwork, discipline.

As does the six-step DOL audit polka, which Carol Barnett from Polsinelli expands upon:

  1. Review immediately and react to the audit request.
  2. Provide responsive existing documents; check your employee rights posters.
  3. Expect employees to be interviewed.  
  4. Beware protected health information. 
  5. Protection of commercial and/or proprietary information.
  6. Expect DOL follow-up. 

Non-exempt employees – what counts as wages?

February 13th, 2018 by Jill S. Kirila, Meghan E Hill and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “wages” paid to an employee are defined to include money, but may also include “facilities” such as the reasonable cost or fair value of board, lodging, or other facilities similar to board and lodging which are customarily furnished by the employer for the employee’s benefit.

Examples of other facilities are:

  • meals provided at company cafeterias
  • tuition provided by a college to student employees
  • general merchandise provided at company stores
  • transportation provided to and from work by the employer.

The FLSA permits employers to pay wages . . .

Remote workers and the remote control

February 8th, 2018 by Jill S. Kirila, Meghan E. Hill and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Remote control

Out of sight, out of mind, out of touch.
Wrong. Just because an employee doesn't work in the office doesn't mean you should lose sight of them or your responsibilities, including monitoring, recording hours worked, overtime and policies.
Jill Kirila, Meghan Hill and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs help you regain control and answer a couple of questions.

Punch clock

December 30th, 2017 by hrsimple

Punch clock

Dear @Littler: If we replace our punch-card timeclocks with a biometric system, are we obligated to provide a punch-proxy for employees? https://www.lexology.com/library/detail

Year-end or holiday incentives

December 29th, 2017 by hrsimple

Penguin sweepstakes small


Year-end or holiday incentives – you need to know the rules: … First rule: make the winner penguin-happy.

It’s only a matter of overtime

December 29th, 2017 by hrsimple

Have your employees been going the extra mile lately? What if they’re clocking in the equivalent of a marathon in hours? If you’re looking over your timesheets and notice that your star employee racked up a whopping 55 hours last week, it’s time to get familiar with the legal requirements of overtime pay. You’re going to need to calculate overtime whether or not the hours your employee worked were authorized by management.

(Note: information in this article is applicable to hourly, non-exempt employees. For a more in-depth analysis of overtime pay, including regular rate of pay and exempt employees, check out the newly updated Wages and Hours – An Employer’s Guide.)