wage & hour laws Archives

New overtime laws to be implemented by the Labor Department

The Labor Department is planning for an adjustment to its categorization of workers who are legally entitled to get overtime pay. Currently, workers who earn $23,660 annually or less can receive overtime. Those who make more than that can be considered salaried. However, on Jan. 1, that threshold will rise to $35,568 for workers throughout Tennessee and the rest of the U.S.

Switching employees from hourly to salary

Some employees in Tennessee may be concerned that their employers will convert them from hourly to salary to avoid paying overtime. In most cases, it's not legal for an employer to do this. That's because most people are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which mandates that employers pay overtime for every hour after 40 hours in a week. There are some exceptions to the rule.

Tennessee health care group to pay workers $92,510 in back wages

A Tennessee health care provider that once operated 10 pediatric clinics in the state will pay 31 of its current and former employees $92,510 in back wages for violating provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to a Department of Labor press release, an investigation conducted by the agency's Wage and Hour Division uncovered evidence of violations of the law's overtime, recordkeeping and minimum wage requirements. During the course of the investigation, seven of the company's 10 clinics closed their doors.

Labor Department to propose overtime rule change

Workers in Tennessee and across the country may be affected by a new rule on overtime pay scheduled to be announced soon. Reports indicate that the Department of Labor has drafted a new regulation for review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The agency must review new regulations before they go into effect to ensure that the rule-making process meets with legal standards and responsibilities. It can take up to three months to review the proposed rule, but no minimum period is required before approval.

What the law considers unpaid wages

When employees in Tennessee work for an employer, they must be paid. The pay must come on a regular schedule, and in some cases, overtime wages are required. Workers are advised to check their pay stubs and tax documents to ensure that they have received the wages that they are entitled to. There are many ways in which an employer could try to avoid paying an employee.

On-call work may entitle employees to overtime pay

If employees in Tennessee or any other state are asked to be on-call for their employers, they may be entitled to overtime pay. This depends on how many hours they work during the rest of the week and how much time is spent working while on-call. Generally speaking, employees are considered to be working if they are not able to pursue personal activities during a certain period of time.

Reporting an employer to the Tennessee Labor Board

When an employer in Tennessee has a work-related complaint to file, it's not always as simple as going to a single agency. In fact, there are different Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development divisions, and each one handles different types of employer complaints. When workers know where to turn to file a complaint, the investigation process will generally begin sooner. Also, having the alleged violation(s) officially documented may minimize issues employees may have if they need to pursue legal action.

Business travel expenses can be confusing

Tennessee business owners often struggle with properly treating employee expenses as deductible for IRS purposes, and this is particularly true for travel expenses. The general rule that time spent traveling for work-related activities must be paid and is therefore a deductible expense seems clear. However, what exactly is meant by "work-related activities" is not as certain.

Employer payments for travel expenses

Many employees in Tennessee engage in travel within the state and to other states for work purposes on a regular basis. Employers who require their employees to travel for work must comply with work regulations for travel reimbursements. Workers should be paid for any time spent traveling for work, but employers do not need to compensate workers for time spent going to and from work.

Tennessee workers paid $678,296 in wage and hour case

A military contractor has paid $678,296 to compensate workers at a Tennessee munitions plant for unpaid wages, benefits and overtime according to a statement from the Department of Labor. The Iowa-based contractor operates the Milan Army Ammunition Plant in Gibson County as part of the military's Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support Program. DOL investigators began scrutinizing the company after workers complained about unpaid overtime and denied benefits.

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