Slideshows

The Dirty Dozen Myths of Wage/Hour

Click through this slideshow to learn what wage and hour myths your managers might be falling for right now.

  • Name That Myth...


    Overtime after 8 hours? Vacations? Double time for holidays? These are some of the many myths of wage and hour that managers adhere to.

    In this slideshow, we’ll dispel a dozen of them. Are some of your managers and supervisors falling for these costly compensation errors? Find out what to look out for here.

  • Myth #1—Employees get extra pay for working nights and weekends.


    The Facts: The FLSA does not require extra pay for weekend or night work. This policy is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative).

    The only FLSA extra pay requirement is that covered, nonexempt workers be paid not less than time and one-half the employee's regular rate for time worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

  • Myth #2—Employers are required to offer minimum vacation and holiday pay.


    The Facts: The FLSA does not require payment for time not actually worked, so periods of time such as vacations, sick leave, or holidays (Federal or otherwise) do not have to be paid. These benefits are matters of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).

  • Myth #3—Employees are due a severance payment at termination.


    The Facts: There is no requirement in the FLSA for severance pay. Severance pay is a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).

  • Myth #4—All employees get morning and afternoon breaks and a minimum of 30 minutes for lunch.


    The Facts: The FLSA does not require breaks or meal periods for workers. Some states do have requirements for breaks or meal periods, but if you work in a state which does not require breaks or meal periods, these benefits are a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative), with the exception of breaks for nursing mothers.

    However, even though breaks are not required by the FLSA, if you do give your employees breaks of 5 to 20 minutes, they must be counted as hours worked (and thus paid time). This includes short periods the employees are allowed to spend away from the work site for any reason.

  • Myth #5—Employees are due an annual pay increase.


    The Facts: Pay raises are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and employee (or the employee's representative). The only pay raise required by the FLSA is to raise pay up to the Federal minimum wage.

  • Myth #6—Employees are due periodic performance evaluations.


    The Facts: The FLSA does not require performance evaluations. Performance evaluations are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and employee (or the employee’s representative).

  • Myth #7—Double time is due for holiday work.


    The Facts: The FLSA has no requirement for double time pay. This is a matter of agreement between an employer and employee (or the employee’s representative).

  • Myth #8—Employees must be paid overtime for more than 8 hours a day or for weekend work or holiday work.


    The Facts: For covered, nonexempt employees, the FLSA requires overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

    And that’s all. There is no requirement to pay overtime after any number of hours in a day or for weekend or holiday work. Note: Some states do have such laws.

    Some exceptions to the 40 hours per week standard apply under special circumstances to employees of hospitals and nursing homes and to police officers and fire fighters employed by public agencies. See more about that here.

  • Myth #9—Employees must get 2 weeks’ notice of termination.


    The Facts: The FLSA has no requirement for notice to an employee prior to termination or lay-off. In some situations, the WARN Act provides for notice to workers prior to lay-off. Some states may have requirements for employee notification prior to termination or lay-off.

  • Myth #10—An employer can’t change an employee’s scheduled hours of work without giving notice.


    The Facts: The FLSA has no provisions regarding the scheduling of employees, with the exception of certain child labor provisions. Therefore, an employer may change an employee’s work hours without giving prior notice or obtaining the employee’s consent (unless otherwise subject to a prior agreement between the employer and employee or the employee’s representative).

  • Myth #11—There is a limit on how many hours a person can work.


    The Facts: The FLSA does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that employees aged 16 years and older can be required to work.

  • Myth #12—Part-Timers aren’t covered by FLSA.


    The Facts: The FLSA does not define full-time employment or part-time employment. This is a matter generally to be determined by the employer. Whether an employee is considered full-time or part-time does not change the application of the FLSA.