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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.

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?

Whether time spent traveling is paid work time for nonexempt employees depends on the nature and the timing of the travel. Travel time that is work time is subject to both the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In situations where overnight travel away from home is required (e.g., employees traveling the day before or after the work assignment), all time spent traveling during hours corresponding to the employee's normal working hours must be counted as time worked and the employee must be paid for those hours (29 C.F.R. § 785.39).

For example, if an employee regularly works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday, the travel time during these hours is work time on Saturday and Sunday as well as on the other days. So, if the employee travels on a regular day off, perhaps Sunday, you must pay for any travel time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (regular meal times do not have to be paid). The employee must also be paid for all time spent at the seminar, training session, or working. Overtime pay is required if travel time and work time together exceed 40 hours in a workweek. For more information, please see the "Travel Time" section in the Compensation chapter.

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 One of our full-time salaried employees has been changed to part-time status and is paid on a semi-monthly basis. Is it legal to adjust his salary down to 60% of his current rate or do I need to pay him his current daily rate?

arrow What, if any, is the dollar amount we can deduct from an employee for administrative purposes for a marital support order?

arrow An employee at our company became ill and was unable to return to work. We paid his medical insurance while he was out and then the location he worked at was sold. Now the employee claims that our company has to pay his COBRA insurance. Is our company required to pay the COBRA premium or is the employee?

arrow Would it be acceptable for our company, a home health care agency, to require our staff to submit certain documentation of their shifts worked before payroll is processed (i.e., if they did not turn in their proper shift documentation verifying the hours worked)? And, if not turned in by the payroll deadline, may we withhold pay until documentation is turned in?

arrow I work at a home healthcare agency. We seem to be paying a considerable amount of money to new staff for both company orientation and patient specific (in the patient's home) orientation. In several instances we have had nurses orientate and then quit, and never actually work a shift for us. What are the guidelines or obligations on our part to compensate these people for their orientation time?

arrow We are having a problem regarding overtime compensation. I was told that holiday & vacation pay could not put a worker into overtime. Is this true and where is it covered in the manual? We are in Illinois. Thank you for your help.

arrow May we deduct for uniforms and pay advances with written approval from employees? If so, must this written approval be made for each deduction or can it be a blanket approval?

arrow I have a checklist to ensure that employees are correctly classified. The checklist wants to know if the "employee's work is primarily intellectual and non-standardized in character"? Do you have an idea as to what they mean by this question? Please explain if possible.

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?

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

No. But employers are entitled to request that the employee provide medical certification. Employees must have 15 days to respond to the request. The employer may then request a second or third opinion from an approved health care provider, at the employer's expense.

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.

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

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

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