Any Georgia business that has employees may end up being audited by the Department of Labor in 2015. The agency reports that it will be looking closely at how employees are classified and ensuring that employers are in compliance with wage and hour law. Most of the audits the agency conducts are in response to complaints filed by people looking for jobs and current employees. However, the reason for an audit is not often provided to a company.
One thing the Department of Labor wants to verify is whether employers are correctly paying non-exempt workers overtime pay. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay after completing 40 hours of work in any given work week. Some states require overtime to be paid to this classification of workers after working eight hours in a day.
Industries that may receive particular attention are those where subcontractors, independent contractors and franchises exist such as residential construction, hospitality industries and retail stores. However, any business with 10 or more employees could be audited. The increase in activity by the Department of Labor is said to be connected to substantiating budgetary increases.
Georgia companies can help protect themselves by keeping employment records, payment records and I-9s organized. If there is any question as to how an employee is to be classified, it would be beneficial to seek the assistance of someone familiar with wage and hour law. Otherwise, an employer may end up owing back pay to affected employees, along with fines and other possible penalties.
Source: mainstreet.com, “New Year Brings Increased Department of Labor Scrutiny on Wage-and-Hour Violations“, Juliette Fairley, Feb. 3, 2015