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August 12, 2009

The “Do More With Less” Overtime Peril


Whether you call it down-sizing, right-sizing, reduction in force, or lay-off, for many employees it means getting more work done in the same amount of time.  And since nobody wants to be seen as the one who can’t finish their work, some employees find themselves working longer, without being paid — or even asking — for overtime. 

Clearly, this could be a serious problem for employers.

“Companies that have established a culture of not paying for off-the-clock work will surely save money in the short-term, but those savings could be dwarfed by class-action lawsuits down the line.” says Charles Wilson, a labor-and-employment attorney in the Houston law office of Epstein Becker Green.

Wilson says that the situation is even more complex in companies that now have salaried employees, such as managers, doing a lot of the work that had previously been done by hourly employees.

“That can be used to challenge the exemption of the managerial employee and say that the manager is no longer a manager and is working as an hourly employee, so all the hours worked, including overtime, must be paid to that manager,” he says.

Communication, enforcement and training are key to handling this problem, experts say.

Read the complete article here

Source: Human Resource Executive Online


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