The requirement on wages and overtime are often confusing and misunderstood. Does minimum wage apply to commissioned employees? When is overtime due? What information must be proved to employees and what records must be kept? Do you have to pay for the time an employee is being trained or on breaks? Is overtime due if I pay an employee a piece rate or a fixed salary? And what about comp time? Make a mistake on one of these issues, and an employer could be liable for back wages, interest, attorney fees, and penalties.
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) launched a new pilot program to facilitate resolution overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and without litigation. Referred to as the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, it is a six-month pilot initiative that allows employers to conduct self-audits of their payroll practices and voluntarily report underpayments to WHD, who would supervise the back payments.
A year and a half ago, the industry was a buzz over revisions to the federal wage and hour regulations that require managers be paid overtime if they made less than $47,476 a year, more than doubling the prior $23,660 wage requirement. See Do You Pay Your Managers Overtime? You May Need to Under New Federal Regulation WFCA’s Premier Flooring Retailer (July/August 2016). A week before the rule was to be effective, a federal court enjoined the rule and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
Whether installing or fixing a hardwood floor, a subfloor or molding, whether making minor repairs, or attaching shoe molding, a nail gun is likely to be used. Do you require your installers to wear eye protection every time a nail gun is used? As a company in Alabama found out, it can be costly to ignore such protection. Specifically, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a serious citation against a framing contractor for allowing employees to use automatic nail guns without proper eye protection and fined the company $113,073.
Does your store offer discounted prices or sales claiming the price is “marked down” from the normal price? Do you advertise items are on sale at a percentage of the regular or standard price? Do you actually sell the items at the “normal” price? If not, you may face liability for deceptive pricing.
As many of you have read, immigration agents recently raided nearly 100 7-Eleven Stores with the intent to “send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal work force … [that they] will be held accountable.” In other words, immigration inspections and raids are on the rise targeting both large and small businesses.
According to the White House, federal agencies have withdrawn, made inactive, or delayed 1,579 planned regulatory actions since President Trump took office. While almost a third of these deregulatory actions were begun under prior Presidents and some will have little impact on businesses, the President and Congress has succeeded in undoing some major rules.
You have interviewed a number of candidates for a job at your store and want to offer one of them a position. To ensure that you offer a salary that will be attractive to the applicant, you ask, “What are you making at your current job?” Or maybe you ask for the applicant’s salary history on the job application form. Such questions may violate the law dependent on where you are located.
Over a year ago, in an issue of the Professional Flooring Dealer, we advised that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA does not just impact a dealer’s physical facilities, such as the need for wheelchair ramps, and enough room between aisles to allow customers to pass, but may also impact your company’s website. “Does My Website Violate the ADA?” Premier Flooring Dealer (May/June 2016).
According to a recent report, most workplace safety investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against retailers are initiated by employee complaints rather than workplace accidents. The report also indicates that California and Pennsylvania are among the top states where inspections and citations occur.