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Payroll

Egg on their faces: Mistakes in paying cooks cost $2.8 million

11/01/2001
Employers who misclassify workers as exempt continue to be hit with big-dollar court awards. In a recent decision, a federal court ordered owners of more than 100 Waffle House restaurants …

Lack of time records voids exemption argument

10/01/2001
No matter how long it took Tracy Klinedinst to paint a car, he was paid based on a standard industry estimate used by auto repair shops and insurance adjusters. While his …

Beware of sick leave policies that allow pay reduction of exempt

10/01/2001
To protect employee exemptions from overtime, make sure your sick leave policy defines which classifications would not be subject to pay deductions. In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court said employees …

Keep staff on site, but off clock, during meals

09/01/2001
Corrections officers in Pima County, Ariz., couldn’t run out to Burger King at lunch. During their half-hour lunch break, they were relieved of their duties but still had to stay on …

Overtime: Pay it now or pay it after a lawsuit

09/01/2001
Before you pile extra work on employees without paying overtime, make sure you’ve correctly classified your workers. A California jury recently ordered Farmers Insurance Exchange to pay overtime to 2,400 …

Timecard Adjustments OK

09/01/2001

Q. Our employees punch a time clock and then go to job sites. Sometimes they don’t take a lunch break. But when they do, they’re unable to clock out and back in, so there’s no time record. Can a manager adjust the timecard by marking through the daily total and deducting the lunch time? –A.P., Virginia

Partial-week suspensions can strip workers’ exempt status

08/01/2001
Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power occasionally suspended salaried employees without pay, and now it may have to pony up overtime for groups of employees. The …

Continuing deductions slams correction window shut

06/01/2001
Don’t wait until someone questions his exempt status to check whether you’ve been making improper pay deductions and then try to correct the situation. Although there’s a “window of correction” …

Take all steps needed for accurate time records

06/01/2001

Q. About a year ago, our company replaced manual time clocks and punch cards with a computerized system, so each employee would punch in and out on the computer. The information is downloaded directly to the payroll department. Despite numerous reminders, from stickers to manager meetings, we still have a chronic problem of employees failing to clock in or out of work. Any suggestions? —M.M., Minnesota

Supreme Court says ERISA trumps state beneficiary laws

05/01/2001
The U.S. Supreme Court recently gave payroll administrators a break under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by ruling that they don’t have to monitor conflicting state laws regarding beneficiaries. …