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Legal Q&A

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WE ARE REVAMPING OUR TIMEKEEPING METHODS AND INSTITUTING A TIME CLOCK OVER TIMESHEETS. DO WE NEED TO HAVE THE TIME CLOCK ‘ROUND’ THE TIME?

Absolutely not. With all the software technology available today, all businesses should be able to calculate time down to the last minute. Unless you are facing a unique challenge, tracking straight time is easy and avoids any of the ambiguity of rounding practices. If you do decide to round time punches, stick with an interval specified in the regulations – five minutes, six minutes (one-tenth of an hour) or 15 minutes (a quarter of an hour).

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOURLY, SALARY, EXEMPT AND NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEES?

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines employees as exempt from the overtime payment provisions of the Act or non-exempt from the provisions of the act. Non-exempt employees can be paid either hourly or by salary. All employees in non-exempt jobs must be paid overtime for their hours worked that exceed 40 hours in a workweek, whether they are regularly paid by the hour or by salary.

Note: Not all employees paid on a salary basis are exempt; just because an employee receives a salary does not make his/her job position exempt from overtime. To be exempt, a position must meet the tests established by the Department of Labor: a salary test and a job duties test.

CAN I MAKE A JOB OFFER VERBALLY?

Of course. However, it is better to make job offers in writing via an offer letter. The offer letter should state the agreed upon job title and starting wage or salary. The letter should include a statement that it is contingent upon all of the contingencies listed in the letter (that is, background check, drug test, etc.). Thus, if the applicant signs the offer letter, he or she has agreed to accept the contingencies.

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