A few months ago, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its semi-annual agenda of regulations that are selected for review or development into the coming year. One of the proposed rules is to require employers to notify workers of their rights under the FLSA and to provide workers with information regarding hours worked and wage computations. Employers that seek to exclude workers from FLSA coverage would be required to perform a classification analysis, disclose the analysis to the affected worker, and retain the analysis for review by DOL enforcement personnel who might request it. The proposal will also address the burden of proof when employers fail to comply with such recordkeeping and notice requirements. It may be a good practice for employers to begin completing and maintaining an exempt analysis worksheet for every exempt job position.
It is the DOL’s stated position that employees have the right to know the employer’s analysis with respect to FLSA exempt or non-exempt requirements, as well as the basis for treating an individual as an independent contractor. Other FLSA issues under scrutiny include timekeeping/rounding off policies, and hours of work issues related to meal periods, break times, stand-by time, travel time, and use of iPhones, Blackberrys, PDAs, and mobile devices by non-exempt employees during off-duty time.
And speaking of the use of mobile devices, the DOL in June released a mobile app for workers to independently keep track of their hours worked, wages earned and breaks taken. According to their press release, “This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.” This may raise a concern for employers that they may soon find themselves in dispute with their employees over conflicting time records on their workers smart phones versus their records. 07-07-2011.