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

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

Risky Business: Disciplining Employee with Paycheck

Do these two policies look familiar to you? Do they resemble policies you’ve seen in employee handbooks, or which might be in your employee handbook?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • “Terminated employees will not be given their final paycheck until they have completed the exit interview and have returned all property belonging to the employer.”
  • “Payday is every Thursday. However, if you are repeatedly absent on Friday, your paycheck may not be issued until Friday.”

Disciplining employees by attaching strings to their paychecks is a common practice among some employers. After all, what better way to discipline employees than by putting their paychecks at risk? But the actual risk is to the employer. Continue reading

Plan Ahead for Changes to Overtime Pay Rules

1428638_61478545It’s been about six months since the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division issued its proposed updated on overtime rules. Specifically, the agency has suggested revisions to the definition of which employees are exempt from overtime pay requirements and which are not (referred to as the “white collar exemption”).

the proposal elicited 264,093 responses during the two-month comment period. There’s no way to know how much, if any, of this feedback will find its way into the final rules, which should go into effect sometime next year. So it’s prudent to plan ahead.

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New Proposed Overtime Rule Released by the Department of Labor

clock-334117_1280The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) has recently released proposed changes to the salary threshold for overtime exemption.  Under the current Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), in order for an employee to be considered “exempt” (meaning they are not required to be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours per week) the employee must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week.  The new proposed rule would increase this salary figure to approximately $970 per week, or $50,440 per year. The new figure was set at the 40th percentile of current exempt salary employees.  The proposed rule also states that the salary threshold would be adjusted annually based on the 40th percentile of wages paid each year.

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Paid Vacation: Is it Optional or Required?

1064586_50115630An employer asks:  “One of my employees left without giving any advance notice.  Do I have to compensate the employee for unused vacation and personal time?”

You are not required under any federal or state laws to offer vacation or personal time off benefits, with or without pay.  But if you offer vacation time with pay, sick leave with pay, and/or paid time off (PTO), you need to be aware of possible regulations in your state regarding compensation.

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Minimum Wage Q & As

question-mark-63979_640Q. How much is the federal minimum wage?

A. The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is currently $7.25 per hour.  Many states also have minimum wage laws.  If an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage rate.  Various minimum wage exceptions apply under certain circumstances.

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