The relationship between an employer and employee ultimately relies on the transaction of labor for a fair wage. It follows, then, that wage and hour disagreements can be among the most heated disputes in the field of employment law.
As an employer, you know that a lawsuit can affect your business not only in terms of finances and downtime but also in regard to your reputation. Overtime disputes are a particularly common source of wage and hour lawsuits, so it is important to know what steps you can take to reduce the risk of this type of dispute becoming an issue.
Maintain accurate employee records
You need information and evidence on your side to defend yourself during a dispute. When accused of incorrectly paying an employee for overtime, the best resource is an easily-accessible timekeeping record. If your business does not already use an electronic timekeeping solution, the investment might be worthwhile.
Stay updated on policies
As a business owner, it is in your best interest to stay abreast of any changes in employment policies and procedures relevant to your industry. This includes any changes surrounding the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is also a good practice to regularly audit your own internal policies, procedures and other company records to ensure that there are no documents that might allow for unfavorable legal action against you.
When an employee feels that their amount of time worked warrants overtime pay, it is crucial that you have the records and policy documents readily available to prove your case. If the dispute persists, it may be necessary to take preemptive measures in pursuing legal action.