Overtime Compliance: Exempt or Non-Exempt

The US Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a salary increase within the margins of $23,660 to $47,476 for them to qualify for overtime compensation in 2020. As for employees earning $100,000, their salary will go up to $107,432 and be exempt from overtime compensation.

Employers now bear the burden of overtime compliance, whether a salary raises to the exempt workforce or reclassifying the group of workers as non-exempt. In the latter scenario, employers will have to pay overtime for hours above 40. Although it may not be economically practical for some employers to affect the new overtime rule, they’ll still have to account for the new non-exempt work time.

Exempt and Non-Exempt Status

Employees need to understand where they stand, exempt or non-exempt. Employers can only achieve this through training employees. Implementing these policies might be challenging for most employees as they transition from one category to another. Transitioning from one class to another doesn’t mean that employees will stop acting, thinking or behaving like they’re still exempt.

However, the salary calculation is easy, while the duties test is where employers must take charge to ensure a seamless transition to limit liabilities. Workers might take time to get used to the new classification hence claiming undeserved overtime wage through technology. It’s challenging to determine the kind of responsibilities an employee can take to be exempt from overtime compensation and can be tasking and time-consuming. Therefore, incorporating overtime compliance tools will benefit users in several ways.

  • A digital questionnaire addressing particular employee facts
  • Risk assessment of federal and state laws
  • Guidelines on ways to limit misclassification
  • A brief of relevant federal and state exemption requirements
  • A questionnaire transcript for the employee

The role of Technology to Assist in Wage and Hour Compliance

Wrong classification of employees can lead to severe consequences like back wages in doubles, triples or quadruples. For instance, a single misclassification of a worker earning annual revenue of $35,000 and an average of 5 hours weekly overtime can go as high as $38,000. Here are the benefits of assistance tools for wage and hour compliance.

Remote access

Employees can access company resources 24/7, which creates a sense of security. In such scenarios, employers should provide a clearance for non-exempt employees to prevent them from accessing company resources beyond their work period.

Monitoring and auditing software

Freshly transitioned employees from non-exempt to exempt might find it challenging to check and respond to emails leading to working overtime. Employers can help them transition by incorporating monitoring and auditing software to record all activities. Such software permits the employer to monitor what e-mail employees receive and the specific times it takes place.

Time-keeping software

Employers can track freshly reclassified employees’ time track, records, and reports that might not relate to their previous work mannerisms. Before implementing biometric time-keeping tools, employers should be careful of statutory and common-law accountability for using such technologies.

Electronic disclaimers and messages

After reclassification, employees might not have a smooth or instant transition. Therefore, employers should customize a screen message that greets a non-exempt employee.

Abolish technology for a while

Although this may be an extreme move, it may help keep non-exempt workers from working beyond office hours. Eliminating accessibility to technology might keep them on track, but it may also be impractical depending on the nature of the work.

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