Month: December 2015

Unpaid Internship: Does Calling it an “Internship” Make any Difference?

Unpaid Internship

An increasingly common problem these days is employers hiring “interns” when in fact they should be paid workers.

For employers and interns out there, here’s a word of advice — calling a job an “internship” does not necessarily relieve an employer of the obligation to pay for the worker’s time.

An employer that wants to pay less than the minimum wage, or even nothing at all, to an intern must meet a strict six-part test, intended to ensure that the position really is a learning experience. If a job doesn’t meet this test, the person holding it is entitled to be paid.

Interns are supposed to be temporary workers, typically students or people who are new to the field, who take a position to learn what a job is like and get some experience. If an employer doesn’t pay an intern at least the minimum wage for each hour worked, the internship must meet a six-factor test created by the federal Department of Labor. The Department looks at the factors listed below to decide whether an internship is really a benefit to the intern or is actually benefiting the employer:

1. The internship must be similar to training that would be provided in an educational environment.
2. The internship must be for the benefit of the intern.
3. The intern must not displace regular employees and must work under close supervision of existing staff.
4. The employer gets no immediate advantage from the intern’s work — and may, on occasion, find its operations impeded by the internship.
5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job once the internship ends.
6. Both the employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for time spent in the internship.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

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Common Overtime Violation: Not Counting Hours Worked

Common Overtime Violation - Not Counting Hours Worked

One of the most common overtime violation falls under not counting hours worked. Even if an employer properly classifies an employee as nonexempt, the employer might violate the law by undercounting employee hours by, for example:

– Requiring employees to work “off the clock” – before clocking in or after clocking out,
– Requiring employees to work through unpaid rest or meal breaks,
– Requiring, expecting, or allowing employees to do extra work at home that’s not compensated
not counting time employees spend putting on or taking off protective gear and clothing at the worksite,
– Not counting time spent on required training and other mandatory activities.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Common Overtime Violation: Misclassifying Employees as Exempt

Common Overtime Violation - Misclassifying Employees as Exempt

One of the most common overtime violations falls under misclassifying employees as exempt.

Some common violations involving employee classification include:

– Classifying employees as exempt “managers” or “assistant managers” when their job duties are the same as the employees who supposedly report to them,
– Classifying employees as exempt under one of the white collar exemptions when their jobs don’t require discretion and independent judgment,
– Paying employees based on how many hours they work each week rather than paying them a true salary that doesn’t fluctuate based on hours worked or production

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

State Laws on Tips and Paycheck Deductions

State Laws on Tips and Paycheck Deductions

What an employer may require an employee to pay for depend by the state you live in.

Some states allow employers to charge employees for tools; others don’t. Some states allow employers to charge employees for uniforms while other states allow this only if the uniform can be worn as street wear.

States also have different rules about whether and how an employer may withhold money from an employee’s paycheck to pay back a debt owed the employer.

State laws can also vary on tips. Generally, tips belong to the employee who receives them. Except for a reasonable amount the employee is required to contribute to a valid “tip pool,” employees keep their own tips. And the employer may not share in the tip pool.

In some states, including California’s, employers can’t take a tip credit, meaning paying a lower minimum wage to tipped employees. These states require employers to pay tipped employees at least the minimum hourly wage, in addition to their tips.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/
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Paydays: When Are You Expected to Get Paid as an Employee

paydays.jpg

The Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t require employers to pay employees on a certain day or within a certain time limit, but many states do.

Some states require that employees be paid no less often that twice a month or once every two weeks.

Some other states require employees to be paid within a certain date of performing the work for which they are being compensated. For example, California employees are entitled to be paid by the 26th of the month for wages earned between the 1st and the 15th of the month, and by the 10th of the month for wages earned between the 16th and the end of the previous month.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

How to Calculate Your Regular Rate of Pay for Overtime Calculations?

How to Calculate Your Regular Date of Pay for Overtime Calculations

If you have worked overtime hours, you are entitled to overtime premium for those extra hours.

You are entitled to a 50% premium for every time hour you work and sometimes more depending on the hours of work.

To determine the overtime premium, you have to calculate your regular rate of pay. Your regular rate of pay includes everything you receive for your employment such as wages, commissions, performance-based bonuses and prizes, and even shift differentials.

Your regular rate of pay doesn’t include any money or times you receive that aren’t intended as part of your compensation, such as expense reimbursements, gifts from your employers, such as a holiday bonus, or the value of employee perks, such as a parking space.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Can My Employer Pay Me in Something other than Cash?

Can My Employer Pay Me in Something other than Cash

The answer to whether your employer can pay you something other than cash is “no.”

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees their wages in cash or “facilities.”

A facility is lodging, board, meals, transportation, or something else that is customarily given to employees, mostly for the benefit of the employees. An employer that pays employees partly in “facilities” may deduct only the reasonable cost of such facilities.

However, keep in mind that some states set a dollar limit on the amount an employer can deduct for these purposes. Some examples include for the cost of providing a meal or lodging.

If your employer is paying you a form of currency that can be used only at the company or business, this practice is illegal. “Store credit” is not something customarily given to employees. This can be a violation of minimum wage laws.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Are Independent Contractors Covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

freelance

The Fair Labor Standards Act covers only employees, not independent contractors, who typically are hired to work on specific projects.

However, whether a person is an employee for purposes of the FLSA generally turns on whether that worker is employed by a single employer.

The FLSA was passed to govern employers who cheated workers of their fair wages. As a result, employee status is broadly interpreted so that as many workers as possible come within the protection of the law.

If nearly all of your income comes from one company, a court would probably rule that you are an employee of that company for purposes of the FLSA, regardless of whether other details of your work life would appear to make you an independent contractor.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/