Archives For Oklahoma Business Law

If you are a business owner or someone in a position of authority with a business, do you know if your business required to pay overtime to employees?

You might be surprised by the answer, read on to find out.

For Oklahoma employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the FLSA controls the payment of overtime.  Here are the basic requirements your business must meet to required to pay overtime pay:
  • The business must be covered by the FLSA.  Consider this blog post to answer the question of whether your business covered by the FLSA.
  • The employee must not be an exempt employee to qualify for overtime pay.  Consider this post for the type of employees who might be exempt from the FLSA.
  • The employee must work more than 40 hours in one work week. 

 

What is the work week? I have seen some uncertainty about this from employers.  According to the United States Department of Labor:

The Act applies on a workweek basis. An employee’s workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day. Different workweeks may be established for different employees or groups of employees. Averaging of hours over two or more weeks is not permitted. Normally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.

 

To summarize:  All nonexempt employees of an FLSA-covered employer must be paid at a time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in the same work week.


Discouraging fact provided by the Tulsa World:

Oklahoma Minimum Wage

Oklahoma Minimum Wage

Have you ever wondered how an Oklahoma court judgment is turned into cash?

Good question. As most people know, the judgment is only one step in the collection process. Rarely does a person owing a judgment simply right a check to pay it off.

This is where the collection process kicks in. I outlined some of the methods and steps in the post-judgment collection process for an Oklahoma judgment, the results are below:

Collection Outline Post Judgment

Do you have Oklahoma judgment that needs to be collected? If so, let me know, I can’t guarantee that I will take your case, but I will take a look at and give you some guidance.

Connecticut River High Water in Bellows Falls Vermont

Do you want to sign a lease for equipment that doesn’t work?

Then, even though the equipment doesn’t work, be obligated to continue making lease payments for four years?

I thought not. This post explains the “finance lease” and why you want to know you are signing one before you sign it. [Tweet this]

Imagine this scenario

You’re a small business owner of a convenience store. You lease an ATM for your customer’s convenience from a broker. You sign a bunch of papers and ATM shows up a few days later. But from the start, it is defective: it fails to give out money, gives out the wrong amount of money and generally creates havoc for your business.
Continue Reading…

Recently, a reader of this blog asked the question “How could a salaried employee be exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)?

Good question. Since I have talked about who is covered by the FLSA and who must be paid overtime, it makes sense to discuss some of the ways a salaried employee could be exempt. Exempt in this context generally means that the employer is not required to pay overtime.

The most prominent exemptions are:

Business Owner
It is so simple that it is initially often missed. If you are an employee who owns at least a bona fide 20-percent equity interest in the enterprise in which employed, regardless of the type of business organization, and are actively engaged in its management, you are excluded from the FLSA as an “executive”.

Computer Professionals
An Employee who primarily performs work as a computer systems analyst, programmer, software engineer or similarly skilled work in the computer field. Examples: system analyst, database analyst, network architect, software engineer, programmer.

Executive
An Employee whose primary duty is to manage the business or a recognized department/entity and who customarily directs the work of two or more employees. Also includes individuals who hire, fire or make recommendations that carry particular weight regarding employment status. Examples: executive, director, owner, manager, supervisor.

Administrative
An Employee whose primary activities are performing office work or non-manual work on matters of significance relating to the management or business operations of the firm or its customers and which require the exercise of discretion and independent judgment. Examples: coordinator, administrator, analyst, accountant.

Professional/creative
An Employee who primarily performs work requiring advanced knowledge/education and which includes consistent exercise of discretion and independent judgment. The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning acquired in a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. Examples: attorney, physician, statistician, architect, biologist, pharmacist, engineer, teacher, author, editor, composer, musician, artist.

Commissioned sales employees
An Employee of retail or service establishments are exempt from overtime if more than half of the employee’s earnings come from commissions and the employee averages at least one and one-half times the minimum wage for each hour worked.

Highly Compensated
This is for an employee earning at least $100,000.00 per year, again with a minimum salary of at least $455.00 per week, and performs one of the duties of an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee.

Outside Sales
This is for your sales positions where the majority of time is off your company premises soliciting sales, customer orders, and contracts. This exemption does not have a minimum salary requirement. So you have the option of having a 100% commissioned outside sales force if you want, without endangering their exempt status.

If an employee meets the requirements under one of these exemptions, it is possible that the employee will be considered “exempt” under the FLSA from the overtime pay requirements.

However, the consequences of an employer not paying overtime when it is required can be catastrophic. Check with an attorney before you assume an employee is exempt.

If would like to hone in on the specific details of your case, please feel free to email me (sjr@shawnjroberts.com).

Q:  Are wages required to be paid when an employee is on jury duty?

A:  If the employee is a “non-exempt” worker wages do not have to be paid. If the employee is an “exempt” worker the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at 29 C.F.R. Sec. 541.602 states the employer is to pay wages for the period of time the worker is absent from work due to jury duty. However, the employer can offset any amounts received by the employee as jury fees for a particular week against the salary due for the particular week. Furthermore, an employer having a policy stating that exempt employees who serve on juries for an extended period of time will not be paid for workweeks in which they perform no work is permissible.

Source: Oklahoma Department of Labor

Q: If my employees are “salaried”, do I need to pay them overtime?

A: The short answer is Yes, even salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime must be paid at a rate of at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in a workweek in excess of the maximum allowable in a given type of employment. Generally, the regular rate includes all payments made by the employer to or on behalf of the employee (except for certain statutory exclusions). A salaried employee who is not “exempt” from the overtime requirement must be paid overtime.

This guy could really use a break!

Q: Are breaks and lunch periods mandatory?
A: NO. Neither federal nor state law require employers to provide breaks to employees age 16 or older. Mandatory break laws only apply to children under the age of 16. Breaks and lunch periods are considered benefits and remain at the discretion of the employer.

For more Oklahoma business law tips, sign up for the email list below.


Source: Oklahoma Department of Labor

 

 


Q: As an employer, am I required to offer my employees benefits?

A: NO. While many employers offer benefits, Oklahoma has no mandatory benefits law. However, if the employer has an established policy providing for benefits, the employee may or may not be eligible depending upon the employers eligibility criteria. Read your employee handbook for specific policies at your workplace.


For more Oklahoma business law tips, sign up for the email list below.


Source: Oklahoma Department of Labor

Q: If I quit or get fired, does my employer have to pay me my final paycheck immediately?
A: NO. An employer may wait until the next regularly designated pay day regardless of whether you quit or were fired.

For more Oklahoma business law tips, sign up for the email list below.


Source: Oklahoma Department of Labor

Q: Can my employer deduct money from my paycheck?
A: Deductions can be legal, depending upon the circumstances. If you are concerned that your employer may be taking illegal deductions, you should contact the state Wage & Hour Unit for more information. Employers must sign a written agreement with employees in order to make legal deductions from employees= wages unless deductions are made pursuant to express statutory authority, such as state and federal tax withholdings and FICA, or pursuant to a prior valid final judgment by an employer against an employee.

For more Oklahoma business law tips, sign up for the email list below.


Source: Oklahoma Department of Labor