Employers first step in preparing for the new overtime rule is to examine all exempt employees that fall under the new $47,476 and decide if they are going to raise salary levels or pay the employee’s overtime hours. Managers should look job duties as well as job titles. Decisions about positions should be made across the company, not just on an individual basis. This will help to avoid unequal treatment and potential discrimination issues in the future.
Next, businesses need to asses the job positions that will be changed back to hourly tracking and assess how to best track employee hours. Are those employees working across multiple locations? Do they work from home? Or do other employment tasks such as responding to scheduling calls and emails from home on a smartphone? Theses are questions that need to be addressed. Businesses should make sure that they have the right time tracking tools in place for these employees. SwipeClock is a great resource for businesses looking at options.
An important step is for businesses to communicate and be transparent for employees. It is likely that employees will feel resistant to returning to a timekeeping system after having a higher level of time flexibility. If companies can be transparent and explain to their employees that they still value and trust them, but that these changes are due to federal laws changing, employees are more likely to adjust with positivity. Managers should be transparent on why decisions were made for different job positions and on any task changes that are being reallocated to other employees. This will help to eliminate or reduce negative perceptions by employees.
Newly Non-exempt employees
Finally, managers need to be trained on how to handle non-exempt employees. There are many things managers need to understand. They should understand how to manage accurate timekeeping and how to deal with on-call time. They should understand why time spent off the clock is prohibited and when to pay for travel time.
Finally businesses should train employees around what to do with unpaid meal breaks. Leaders should understand the implications of breaking the overtime laws. Additional questions that need to be addressed include: how to track employees responding to texts, calls or emails when away from work. Employees should understand the reasons why overtime should be approved in advance. They should also be able to lead time management so that tasks can be completed in a 40 hour workweek. These are all issues that have the potential to cost companies money in penalties and bad publicity if not addressed in policy and training.
The few short months of preparation allowed by these new overtime changes don’t allow much time for businesses to get prepared and implement change in their organizations. It is vital for business owners and managers to educate themselves about the new laws and to start making decisions. For more information, SwipeClock has published a series of articles.