When you have worked hard, sacrificed your time to make your company thrive to become a successful money tree, you want to keep it growing. Almost every day we see headlines of a company that failed to classify their employees correctly. These mistakes can cause your company to lose some branches on its money tree. The media just reported today that Citi paid millions of dollars for back wages and penalties for having misclassified employees as exempt and failing to pay overtime. http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/08/04/citi-unit-in-tampa-pays-millions-in-back-wages.html?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2016-08-04&u=vlqEk5XRIYSbq7IvWJISnFWJDQw&t=1470417310&j=75324772
Why does this happen? Usually it is ignorance of the law. A company’s manager may be in charge of running a specific organizational unit. In doing so, that manager has hard working employees that are putting in 60 hour work-weeks. Unfortunately, the manager has been paying these employees a salary thinking that they are acting independently and are exempt from overtime. Non-payment of overtime can be expensive, possibly owning double damages. In other instances, a company may just recognize the higher of tracking and paying overtime and simply ignore the law. The risk rarely pays off.
If your company has not had an attorney review your employment practices, then we urge you get that completed on an annual basis. Our attorneys can assist with organizational structure, identify exempt and non-exempt positions, differentiate between an employee and independent contractor, and provide proper payment methods. There are many other employment considerations, including non-compete agreements, confidentiality agreements, and harassment policies and training. Let’s avoid damage to your money tree and let’s water it regularly. For your employment needs, contact Scott K. Hewitt, Esq.