By Jamie Herzlich, Newsday
The pandemic has shaken up the structure of many workplaces.
For many companies, it’s resulted in reduced workforces, changing roles and responsibilities for employees and salary reductions.
Given that, as companies reopen, there are wage and hour issues employers should be aware of including the possibility that some employees previously designated as overtime exempt no longer fit into that category.
Keep in mind the salary and duties test differs for those considered highly compensated white-collar employees. For 2020, these employees are considered exempt from overtime if they make at least $107,432 and perform certain functions, says Christine Malafi, a senior partner at Ronkonkoma-based Campolo, Middleton & McCormick LLP. See https://tinyurl.com/htnrp8m for duties.
Malafi advises employers to “review classifications as you hire employees back.”
Separately, employers also need to make sure they are properly tracking hours especially if some employees will remain remote, says Malafi.
Consider that if hourly employees check their work emails outside of working hours, even if told not to, or forbidden to do so, they are still entitled to overtime pay, she says. To help with that, employers might consider actually cutting off access to work emails and/or work VPNs after a certain time, she noted.