The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted in the U.S. in 1938 to establish basic employment guidelines like minimum wage and payment for overtime work. Specifically, FLSA stipulates that non-exempt employees be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 in a given week.
At the time the FLSA was enacted, it was a radical change for the government to set standards for private industry, impacting companies to this day in all sectors including retail, oil, manufacturing and hospitality.
Why is FLSA important today?
As times change and technology evolves, human resource professionals and executive teams must address the current employee engagement landscape and how best to build a wage and hour compliant organization. Employers need to understand and comply with all of the wage and hour laws that affect their workplace.
With clear communication from executives and HR, FLSA issues can be kept at bay. Speakap does not give legal advice. However, the following are important elements to consider:
Policies & Programs
Make compliance important to you personally. Talk about it, add it to your objectives, and monitor practices that need to be changed.
Put policy in place and share it with your team. Keep in mind that employers may have a policy that requires employees to get supervisory approval before working overtime hours, but they must still pay workers for unauthorized work. Employers can discipline employees for working unauthorized hours, but it’s best to do so only if a policy is in place.
To aid communication between employees and managers and ensure all employees have read and understood the latest policies, consider your communication program. Using a platform that enables the organization to communicate and engage at all levels -- including frontline and non-exempt employees who may not have an email address -- can add significant value.
To avoid non-compliance, adopt technology to aid in wage and hour compliance efforts. Compliance tools can help with payroll audits and determine employee classifications. It’s important to pay attention to how employee work hours are tracked. Cloud-based tracking and mobile applications can help employers accurately track hours and ensure compliance, particularly for remote workers.
Adopt New Habits
Transforming workplace behaviors is perhaps our toughest challenge. Of course, managers and employees should be given relevant information and training. When C-level leaders start to communicate consistent messaging around how to implement serious changes in the name of compliance, comfortable behaviors will be overcome and the related liability will disappear.
Business leaders must address FLSA compliance with the same focus we give to other important strategic, financial and cultural matters. To learn more about your state’s specific FLSA Laws, visit the U.S. Department of Labor.
Today, employees can often perform work wherever and whenever they have an internet or mobile phone connection. Well-crafted policies, training and enforcement are key steps to achieving compliance. For more information about creating an FLSA-compliant communication program, download our guide below.
*The above information is the opinion of Speakap. Please seek legal council if you have specific concerns.