Fair Labor Standard Act, otherwise known as FLSA, is a major item that any business owner must know about in detail. Ignoring or being ignorant of the law is not an excuse and comes with harsh penalties that could potentially close the business. Online time tracking software can help manage this aspect of the business with little effort.
What is FLSA?
FLSA is a set of labor laws enacted in the 1930s to protect workers from employer abuse, pay them for the hours they work, and limit the hours worked to provide more jobs to the unemployed. The most widely known portion of this law is the 40 hour work week. Employees are not allowed to work more than 40 hours in a given week without being compensated with their rate of pay times 1.5 per hour. Even if employees want to work for free, by law, they are not allowed to without violating the FLSA.
The 40 hour work week even applies to “salaried employees”, unless they fall into a a classification of upper management or business owners. Basically, anyone that is not making large business decisions that affect business or manage more than three people directly with hire and fire authority, would fall into the category covered by FLSA.
Section 13(a)(1) of the FLA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bonafide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.
Federal FLSA regulations also create a second exemption from overtime for commission-paid salespersons under a special exemption for sales employees of “retail or service establishments.” This is an exemption only from overtime; it is not an exemption from minimum wage.
For a full list of employees that are non-exempt from FLSA, please refer to the Department of Labor, FLSA website: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp
40 Hour Work Week
According to FLSA, any employee that is non-exempt, meaning is not a manager or in a job category not covered by FLSA, cannot work more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay. It does not matter if they are being paid a flat rate salary. It is always surprising how many people either are not aware of the law or believe that since they are paid a salary, they are not eligible for overtime pay.
In today’s business environment, 40 hours a week is almost impossible when you calculate the amount of time your employee is checking email, text messaging or doing online research when outside the office. This additional time is counted as work time and can quickly send an employee’s hours worked in a week well above the 40 hours allowed by law.
Did you know that company parties and gathering are technically counted into the 40 hour work week? Any function that is related to work, whether it seems like fun or not, is counted as work time hours.
Burden of Proof is on the Business Owner
So you have an employee that has filed an FLSA complaint, now what? Well, by law, the business owner is on the hook to prove that the employee did not work more than the allowed hours. This can be a burdensome and costly process. Not to mention the legal fees involved. Failure to provide accurate time records is a recipe for getting slapped with a violation. Business owners have to maintain and store records for all employees that work in the company.
Taking the Pain Out of FLSA
Online time tracking software, such as Flapps, is the only reasonable way to accurately keep track of each employee’s time worked. Requiring employees to record every minute and categorize that work, will save countless hours of hair pulling and crying when you receive a dreaded FLSA inquiry. Employees can quickly enter their time spent during the work day into the online time tracking software where it stored and can be later retrieved in reports.
Using Flapps as your online time tracking software solution can save headaches, as well as thousands of dollars in legal fees and fines. Check out Flapps free trial and see how it can help business owners take control of their bottom line.