Archive for the ‘Compensation’ Category

Paying Employees During a Disaster Like Sandy:

October 31, 2012 Leave a comment


Any time we are met with a disaster like Sandy one of the most common questions that are surface are around show up pay and payment of exempt salaries. Here’s what the law says about it:

Paying Employees Who Show Up and Have No Work to Do

While the FLSA does not address this directly, many states do. It is known as call-in or reporting pay. For example, under Mass. Law:

455 CMR 2.03– (1) Reporting Pay. When an employee who is scheduled to work three or more hours

reports for duty at the time set by the employer, and that employee is not provided with the expected

hours of work, the employee shall be paid for at least three hours on such day at no less than the basic

minimum wage.

Here is an excellent summary created by SHRM so you can see the law in your state. HR That Works Members should all look at the BNA state law summaries under the Compensation folder.

Paying Exempt Employees Who Cannot Work

Bottom line is that if an employee is ready, willing and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available (29 C.F.R. 541.602(a)). You can have them use vacation or sick pay under appropriate conditions. Please see this FLSA memo for further instruction

Equal Pay Act Guidebook

The DOL has issued a Guidebook for Employers on the Equal Pay Act. Part of the agency’s agenda is to step up its enforcement of the law.

Making Their Day

We were fortunate to have Cindy Ventrice, author of Make Their Day: Employee Recognition That Works, conduct a webinar for us on Low Cost Recognition Strategies. It is archived on HR That Works in both WMV and MP3 versions. Here are some of the salient points made:

  1. The most important recognition comes directly from the manager or supervisor.
  2. The most impactful recognition is no cost praise.
  3. Employees like time off as a reward.
  4. Come up with some fun ideas with your management team. Learn from each other!

HR That Works Members should also look at the Keeping Great Employees Training Module.

Holiday Pay

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

We’ve been getting a lot of Hotline queries regarding holiday pay. Here’s the basic Federal law on it:

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations or holidays (federal or otherwise). These benefits are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee’s representative).

On a government contract to which the labor standards of the McNamara O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) apply, holiday and/or vacation fringe benefit requirements are stated in the SCA wage determinations in contracts that exceed $2,500.

On a government contract to which the labor standards of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts apply, holiday pay and/or vacation pay is required for specific classifications of workers only if the Davis-Bacon wage determination in the covered contract specifies such requirements for workers employed in those classifications.

There is no requirement that employers have to pay overtime to eligible employees for holiday work, unless the employees work more than 40 hours in the same workweek, or 8 hours that day in California. Also paid holidays don’t count towards the 40-hour overtime rule.

Remember, exempt employees always get paid for holidays if they worked any portion of the week.

Here’s California FAQ on it: The theme is the same in the other states as well. Many state regulations don’t mention it at all.


Colorado wage law does not require nor prohibit any paid holidays, and does not require nor prohibit any extra pay for working on holidays. When an employee is paid for a non-work holiday, the holiday hours do not count towards overtime unless actual work was performed on the holiday.


Q: Am I entitled to holiday pay in Illinois?
A: No, unless by employment contract or agreement.

New York

Q: Must an employer pay workers for holidays, sick time and/or vacations?
A: Under the New York State Labor Law, payment for time not actually worked is not required unless the employer has established a policy to grant such pay. Holidays, sick time and/or vacations fall under ‘time not worked.’ When an employer does decide to create a benefit policy, that employer is free to impose any conditions they choose.


Hope that helps!

New Bill Requires Commission Contracts in California

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment

By January 1, 2013, whenever an employer enters into a contract of employment with an employee for services to be rendered within California and the contemplated method of payment of the employee involves commissions, the  contract shall be in writing and shall set forth the method by which the commissions shall be computed and paid.

The employer shall give a signed copy of the contract to every employee who is a party thereto and shall obtain a signed receipt for the contract from each employee. In the case of a contract that expires and where the parties nevertheless continue to work under the terms of the expired contract, the contract terms are presumed to remain in full force and effect until the contract is superseded or employment is terminated by either party.

…. “Commissions” does not include short-term productivity bonuses such as are paid to retail clerks; and it does not include bonus and profit-sharing plans, unless there has been an offer by the employer to pay a fixed percentage of sales or profits as compensation for work to be performed.

Categories: California, Commissions

A Timeline of American Employee Rights

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Inc. Magazine did an excellent article on the history of the workplace you can read by clicking here.

DOL Claims to Be “Undeterred by Wal-Mart Decision”

The DOL had this to say in their newsletter today:

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to halt the closely watched Wal-Mart class action equal pay case will not affect the Labor Department’s commitment to aggressively pursue pay discrimination cases that fall under its jurisdiction. At the National Employment Law Association’s annual convention last Friday in New Orleans, La., Secretary Solis discussed efforts by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to ensure that federal contractors honor legal requirements to provide equal pay to men and women who do equal work. An executive order grants DOL legal authority to do so, and OFCCP has stepped up its focus on compensation cases this year. Today in America, women are paid an average of 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. The average woman stands to lose $150 each week, $8,000 each year and $380,000 over her lifetime.