wage & hour laws Archives

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.

Protection for minors in Tennessee's labor laws

Minors who work in Tennessee are subject to child labor protections designed to keep young workers from being exploited. There are a number of exceptions to the law as well as prohibited occupations for people under the age of 18. Regulations also include various hour restrictions, especially for younger teens. For example, 14- and 15-year-olds may not work more than three hours a day or 18 hours a week when school is in session, even though they can work up to eight hours a day or 40 hours a week during school vacations.

Lawsuit from Trump's driver seeks $200,000 in unpaid overtime

The lawsuit filed by President Trump's long-time personal driver illustrates the problems that employees in Tennessee sometimes have getting paid for overtime. Court filings from the 59-year-old man described the Trump Organization's failure to pay him for 3,300 hours of overtime over the course of six years. He wants a settlement of about $200,000.

Minority women face racial and gender discrimination at work

Since 1963, when the Equal Pay Act became law in the United States, employers in Tennessee have had a legal obligation to pay men and women the same amount of money for the same work. Reality has fallen far short of that goal. Women persistently earn lower pay than their male counterparts for the same jobs do, and the pay gap is even higher for African American, Latina and Native American women. The general counsel for the National Women's Law Center attributed the lower pay for minority women to the people running companies. They lack awareness of the issue and fail to enforce employment laws meant to counteract discrimination.

Labor Department guidelines address wage and hour issues

Employees in Tennessee and across the country may face an array of confusing problems related to proper payment for their hours worked. Unfortunately, many businesses try to cut corners and can avoid paying workers for time for which they should be compensated. Two April 2018 opinion letters from the Department of Labor attempt to clarify situations that have arisen for workers on the job that implicate the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Working off the clock? It's probably illegal

If you are working in Nashville and your employer asks you to work off the clock, he might be committing an illegal act. In fact, for most workers, it is against the law for them to work without pay, even if they choose to do so. Some employers convince their employees to work off the clock in order to avoid paying higher overtime rates. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) makes this illegal.

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