In our last post, guest author Stephanie R. Thomas, Ph.D., discussed the Department of Labor’s new ‘We Can Help’ campaign. In this post, she examines some of the proactive steps employers should take to protect themselves.
Take Proactive Measures Now
The Department of Labor’s ‘We Can Help’ campaign highlights the importance of taking a proactive stance and meeting this challenge head-on. It is more important than ever for employers to review their classification of employees, pay practices and compensation document creation and retention policies. Employers, in conjunction with legal counsel, should perform self-audits to identify any potential problem areas, and take corrective action where required. It’s important to involve legal counsel in the self-auditing process at its inception. There are a variety of privilege issues that need to be addressed, and legal counsel is best positioned to advise employers on these issues to protect both the employer and the employees.
Key areas employers should be examining include:
• Misclassification of employees as exempt
• Misclassification of employees as independent contractors
• Failure to pay otherwise exempt employees on a salary basis
• ”Off the clock” work
• Proper calculation of the regular rate of pay
• Donning and doffing activities
• Unpaid on-duty meal breaks
• Miscalculated commissions and bonuses
The U.S. Department of Labor has estimated that approximately 80% of employers are not in compliance with applicable wage and hour laws. The risk of being targeted for a wage and hour lawsuit is now greater than ever. Wage and hour litigation is expected to remain a source of significant exposure to employers well into the future. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more appropriate. Don’t wait for a lawsuit or an investigation – take action now.
CPEhr Offers DOL Compliance Services
“Take action now” is perhaps easier said than done. Where to begin? With whom to consult? CPEhr’s Human Resources Consulting services offer a turn-key HR compliance system, that will walk you through every step of the process. From job descriptions and classifications, to payroll worksheet audits and review, CPEhr’s compliance team will help protect you against a DOL audit, and will work vigilantly to remove a claim, should one arise. Contact CPEhr today for more information.
(This guest post was authored by Stephanie R. Thomas, Ph.D. the Director of the Equal Employment Advisory and Litigation Support (EEA/LS) Division of Minimax Consulting. Her division specializes in the application of economics and statistic to employment decisions and employment related issues. Stephanie can be reached at http://www.theproactiveemployer.com.)