But My Staff Would Rather Have Time Off!

Apr 14, 2014

Spring is here & many of you have seasonal or cyclical businesses that soon will be very busy. Presumably, many of your employees will work long hours and desire time off. After all, time off can be more valuable than additional money, especially in summer. So, the employee would rather have comp time, rather than overtime pay... not so fast...the government would lose out on payroll taxes so with little exception, comp time (compensatory time) is a no-no for your hourly staff.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines the standard for minimum wages, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor, impacting more than 130 million workers, both full‑time and part‑time, in the private and public sectors (http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/minwage.htm). There are exemptions to FLSA but if you are a private sector employer, it is likely your business is subject to this Act.  

Please be aware, the Act does not limit the number of hours in a day or the number of days in a week that the employer may require an employee to work, as long as the employee is at least 16 years old. Similarly, the Act does not limit the number of hours of overtime that may be scheduled. Nevertheless, the Act requires employers to pay these employees one and one‑half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek, unless the employees are otherwise exempt (i.e., salaried employees).

You don’t want to be on the radar of the Wage & Hour folks....so, how should you manage these constraints to meet your business demands and still balance the needs and motivation of your workforce?

  • Consider hiring enough people so you don’t get burdened paying a ton of overtime, and can distribute hours evenly across your entire staff.  
  • Keep an open conversation with employees about scheduling during peak times... you will be surprised how well collaboration and conversation can be a win-win for both parties.
  • Hire the Human Resource to handle all of your monthly HR needs!


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