Protecting Your Salaried-Exempt Status
Avoiding Inadvertent Mistakes and Land Mines
Once you have a salaried employee classified as exempt from overtime, you don’t want to un-do it and make a mistake which turns that exempt salaried employee into a non-exempt worker. Employers make mistakes which undermine the status and cause liability for the employer.
The Department of Labor changed the rules for salaried-exempt employees and then put them on hold. Employers made major efforts to examine, adjust and properly classify exempt positions. Then some revised and changed back again, or are still in flux.
HOWEVER, that is just the starting point. The major liability comes after having properly established a position as salaried, and then losing the exemption by careless practices or unwitting treatment of those positions. Improper deductions, salary alterations, time off, discipline and more can result in loss of the salaried-exemption for one person, or for all your salaried positions, and cause millions in liability. The Fair Labor Standards Act can impose that liability not just on the organization, but personally against the assets of supervisors, HR managers, CFOs, CEOs, and board members.
Focusing on only the salary basis requirements can be a big mistake. One must also preserve and protect the salaried status once it has been properly established.
- Types of exemptions
- Protecting the exemptions (avoiding improper processes, danger areas and land mines)
- Improper deductions (absence, discipline, illness, performance, military leave, etc.)
- When can you dock salary for absence?
- Avoiding land mines
- FMLA, work from home
- The “Safe Harbor” and other policies that can prevent organizational and personal liability
The broad audience is any and all employers with salaried employees. More specifically: Human Resources, Office Managers, Chief Financial Officers, Payroll and Accounting staff
Bob Gregg, Boardman & Clark Law Firm in Madison, Wisconsin, has been involved in employment relations for more than 30 years. He litigates employment cases, representing employers in employment contracts, discrimination cases, FLSA, FMLA and all other areas of employment law. His main emphasis is helping employers achieve enhanced productivity, creating positive work environments and resolving employment problems before they generate lawsuits. Bob has conducted over 3,000 seminars throughout the United States and authored numerous articles on practical employment issues. Bob is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the National Speakers Association. He is also a National Faculty Member of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity and served on the Board of Directors for the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Foundation.
Institute of Certified Bankers: Visit http://www.icbmembers.org/login.aspx for instructions regarding self-reporting. Estimated credits: 2.5 CE Credits
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