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What is considered a "workweek"?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines an employee's workweek as any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours -- seven consecutive 24-hour periods.  It does not need to coincide with the calendar week. An example of this is a workweek of Saturday through Friday.  A workweek may begin on any day of the week and any hour of the day established by the employer.  Employers are free to define the beginning and ending days for their work week as they so choose.  Different workweeks may be established for different employees or groups of employees. Under section 7(a) of the FLSA, overtime compensation is determined on a workweek basis, and must be paid for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. There is no limit under the FLSA on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek.  It is the responsibility of the employer or supervisor to establish workweeks for each employee, including “exempt” employees, in writing.  Once the beginning of an employee’s workweek is established, it remains fixed.  The designated workweek for an employee cannot be changed unless it is intended to be permanent and may not be done to avoid paying overtime.

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A longtime employee of ours recently died in an automobile accident. We are not sure what to do with his final paycheck. Should we simply mail it to his home address?

If there is no written predesignation allowing a specific third person to pick up the paycheck, the employer should issue the final paycheck and wait until an authorized party shows up to claim the pay. Generally, an authorized party would be the executor or administrator of the estate to whom the probate court has issued letters testamentary. After confirming the person’s identity and obtaining a signed receipt, the employer should deliver the wages to that person and keep a copy of the letter testamentary with the employee’s payroll records. Delivering a final paycheck by mail to the deceased employee’s address of record is not advisable due to possible misappropriation by unauthorized persons or claims that it was never received.

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We often have employees who clock in early or clock out late and claim extra hours on their time sheets even though they are only supposed to work 40 hours a week. Do we have to pay our employees for this unauthorized overtime?

Yes. The schedule deviation is a disciplinary issue, not a pay issue. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you have no choice but to pay employees for all hours actually worked. Address schedule violations under your company’s regular corrective action policy. Let your employees know, in writing, that in the future, all overtime must be approved by their supervisor in advance, and that failure to obtain such approval can lead to discipline, up to and including termination. If the excess hours resulted from some kind of supervisory negligence, there would also be an issue to address with regard to the responsible supervisor.

arrow We are a small business with 10 employees. Are we required to fill out the OSHA record keeping log of job-related injuries and illnesses? Do we have to post the annual summaries?

arrow One of our employees worked Monday through Thursday (8 hours each day), was out all day Friday on sick leave, and worked 8 hours on Saturday. We paid her 48 hours of regular pay. She now claims she is entitled to 8 hours of overtime pay. Is this correct?

arrow An employee who was terminated told me that under federal law he can request his W-2 Form with his final paycheck. I thought that federal law stated employers had to have W-2 Forms out by January 31st of the following year. Please advise.

arrow If an employer requires short-term disability leave to begin after an employee has been absent three consecutive days, can the time after that three days up until the time the employee returns to work be counted as FMLA leave? Also, does an employee have to request FMLA leave or can an employer require it after a certain number of consecutive absences?

arrow It has become necessary to implement an office dress code. Any suggestions or samples of dress codes?

arrow At what point, if any, do we need to report information about new hires to the government?

arrow In Texas, if an employer requires an employee to wear a uniform, must the employer provide the uniform?

arrow How do we figure overtime pay for employees on a salary overtime system?

arrow Our company (48 employees) offers health insurance for the employee only. There is dependent coverage available at the employee's expense. For the last year, there have been several pregnancies in our company. The insurance is denying the claims for the newborns, saying that we have a self-funded plan and newborns are only covered under the dependent coverage, which is $411.00 a month. My question is this: Should the insurance cover newborns regardless of the plan type, being that newborn coverage is required by state law?

arrow I have a question about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Our agency has 47 employees. Does the 50-employee rule mean 50 full-time employees? We have 12 part-time employees.

arrow Our company handbook states that if a two-week notice is given, vacation time will be paid. The question is this: If an employee resigns with a two-week notice and is convinced to stay with the company by management through an oral agreement and the employee feels this agreement has been voided because of noncompliance, should the employee be paid the vacation earned?

arrow Are there any regulations stating we must pay an employee who is traveling to/from an educational conference for their time while traveling? Do we have to pay for weekend travel or overtime?

arrow Our company has salaried employees who asked about taking comp time when they work more than an 8 hour day. I tell them we do not have comp time as a benefit. Can you give me some guidance on what is required for a salaried employee or at least point me in the right direction when it comes to "overtime"?

arrow If an employee asks off for a personal leave of absence do they have guaranteed job security?

arrow We are a firm with 17 employees. Our sick policy allows paid sick time off based on length of employment: for example, 2 to 5 years employment, 80 hours sick time with full pay, 160 hours sick time with half pay. Is this policy legally acceptable for both salaried and hourly employees?

arrow Here in Texas when we terminate an employee are we required by law to pay all wages and vacation time at this time or may we mail the last check to the employee?

arrow Do you have anything pertaining to policies for internet usage and/or personal usage of the company computer during working hours?

arrow Our company operates C-stores. What is the law (State of Texas) and/or federal law regarding re-payment of cash shortages? I believe that we cannot payroll deduct even with permission if the wage falls below minimum wage, but I don't know about asking for payment from an individual for a shortage.

arrow What is the Employer Information Report EEO-1?

arrow Are employers required to give employees access to their personnel files?

arrow Must employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) count hours spent by employees at training programs as work time?

arrow How do employers comply with the New Hire Reporting laws?

arrow Are employees required to provide medical certification when requesting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

arrow Are employers required to continue the employee's health benefits during FMLA leave?

arrow Are employers required to pay overtime rates to independent contractors?

arrow If a worker is incorrectly classified as an independent contractor, is the worker entitled to back overtime pay?

arrow Does the Fair Labor Standards Act require rest breaks for employees?

arrow Does the Fair Labor Standards Act require vacations for employees?

arrow Is the employer required to provide workers' compensation coverage?

arrow Is the employer required to have an employee handbook?

arrow Is AIDS considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

arrow Is drug abuse considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

arrow Is alcoholism considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

arrow Do employers need a reason to terminate an employee?

arrow Should a terminated employee be given a written document?

arrow What is the best way to avoid liability for a sexual harassment claim?

arrow Our business uses E-Verify to check the employment eligibility status of employees. Since we use the E-Verify program, are we still required to complete an I-9 Form for employees?

arrow What are the consequences if an employer is not able to accommodate an employee who requests the application of "intermittent" leave? We have an employee who has a wide variety of medical related problems, such as: migraines, blood pressure, depression, nosebleeds, etc. The job held is a full-time position supervising others and to work part-time is not acceptable. Would appreciate any guidance available.

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