Pay Issues – Something Old, Something New

When businesses implemented remote work arrangements during the pandemic, it was a necessary, but generally unplanned, change that left considerable room for error. In the months since, business owners have found productivity metrics, timekeeping solutions, and other measures that have enabled better management of remote work and related timekeeping and compensation issues. However, issues still remain. Recent investigations, claims, and lawsuits suggest a number of remote and hybrid workers may not be paid properly.

Even traditional work arrangements continue to trip up some employers. The Department of Labor recently resolved three cases which illustrate basic elements of the Fair Labor Standards Act are still misunderstood. These cases included $348,380 in back wages and liquidated damages for Arizona construction workers (30-minute lunch periods were automatically deducted even when employees worked through lunch), $400,000 in back wages and damages for New Jersey landscaping workers (32 workers were not paid overtime), and $276,048 in back wages for North Carolina pizza chain workers (who were paid $1.19/hour as a cash wage, relying on tips for the balance of their pay).

Business Takeaway: The same old issues, now compounded by the remote workforce trend and other “new age” challenges, continue to beset business owners. In addition to reviewing your current employee classifications and pay practices, it is important to look forward and consider more recent developments. Do you have any unresolved areas of risk or concern?