Rules for Final Paycheck Vary by State

When an employee quits their job voluntarily or is terminated involuntarily by their employer, it is important for an employer to know the rules regarding any final wages owed to the employee.

Each state’s wage and hour laws determine when and how the final payments are made. Many states have different rules for voluntary resignations and involuntary terminations. For example, some states require a check to be given at the time of termination when the termination is involuntary  but don’t require final payment to be paid to an employee who is voluntarily quitting until the next regularly scheduled pay date. Continue reading

Clarification on the “Day of Rest” Requirement for California Employers

Employees in California must receive at least one day off per week (“day of rest”) under California labor law.  This is not a new requirement, however the California Supreme Court recently clarified how the “day of rest” rule applies.

The court stated that employers must allow a day of rest in each workweek. The workweek is defined by each employer, generally in the Employee Handbook. The rule doesn’t indicate that the employee receives at least one day off in any seven day period. So, for example, if an employer has a workweek defined as Sunday through Saturday, an employee could have Tuesday off one week and then Friday off the following week. This means the employee would be working nine days in a row, but the employer is still in compliance with the day of rest requirement because the employee is getting one day off in each workweek.  Continue reading

Georgia’s New Kin Care Law

Effective July 1, 2017, large employers in Georgia who offer sick leave to their employees must allow their employees to use sick time to care for an immediate family member.

The new law applies to employers with 25 or more employees. These large employers who currently offer employees paid sick leave (or begin to do so in the future) must allow employees who work at least 30 hours per week to use up to 5 days of paid sick leave per year for the care of an immediate family member. Continue reading

Arizona Employers to be Required to Provide Paid Sick Time to All Employees

Under the Fair Wages and Health Families Act, all Arizona employers will be required to provide their employees with paid sick leave beginning on July 1, 2017.

All employees (including full time, part time and temporary) should begin accruing a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for each 30 hours worked.

Employers with 15 or more employees can impose an accrual limit of 40 hours (or more) each year. This means that employees would stop accruing paid sick time after they had accrued a total of 40 hours per year.

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Employees Working Unauthorized Overtime

If an employee is working overtime without permission from a manager, what options do you have as the employer?

Under federal law (The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA), if a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek they must be compensated at a rate of one and one half times their regular hourly rate for all hours over 40 in the week. If an employee is working, they must be paid for all time worked, even if the hours were not authorized by management. For example, if an employee is scheduled for 40 hours and works 46 hours, but the 6 hours of overtime weren’t approved by the employee’s manager, the employee must still be paid for all 46 hours worked.  Continue reading

Do We Have to Pay Employees On Call?

question-mark-460867_1280Yes, your company is required to pay employees if you require them to remain on your premises while they wait for an assignment (for example, firefighters waiting for an emergency call).  If this is the case, they are considered to be working and must be paid, even if they are doing other things, such as playing cards.

No, you don’t have to pay employees if you allow them to go home and they are free to leave messages saying where they can be reached.  In most cases, like these, the employees are not considered to be working.

Yes, you must pay employees if you allow them to leave but restrict their activities, (such as requiring them to remain close to the workplace or not drink alcohol while on call).

Rules for Meal and Rest Periods

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSAcafe-675219_1920) does not require that employers provide any rest or meal breaks to employees other than for nursing mothers. However, if an employer decides to offer these breaks to their employees, the FLSA does provide some rules that must be followed:

  • Breaks of a short duration (typically 20 minutes or less) should be paid breaks that are counted as time worked and should be included in the total hours calculation for overtime purposes. This includes restroom breaks, breaks to get a beverage, smoke breaks, etc.
  • Meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) can be omitted from total hours worked and can be unpaid breaks when an employee is relieved of all job responsibilities for the duration of the break.

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