By December 1, 2016, LNCs who have salaried employees will be required to follow new federal wage laws. The law requires people earning salaries of $47,476 or less to be paid time and one half for every hour they work over 40. The regulation applies to working over 40 hours in one week.
If you have employees, you’ll need to be paying attention to this. When I initially had employees, I did not understand the difference between comp time and time and one half, except as how it affected my company financially. I misunderstood the law and thought I had a choice between paying comp time or overtime. My employees wanted to accumulate extra minutes so they could take off for doctor’s appointments or other needs without losing pay.
What happens when you have a disgruntled LNC employee
I thought I worked out a great system. I kept elaborate records of comp time – when it was earned, when it was used. My LNC employees had the opportunity to use these minutes when needed.
This system came to a crashing halt when one of my employees became disgruntled with her salary, demanded a raise, and then contacted the Department of Labor to request an audit of the company’s payroll records.
An auditor reviewed our records, fined the company and required me to pay employees time and one half for time worked over the previous year. This cost me $5000. The employee resigned without getting her raise and I was left with the bill. The comp time system ended and my employees happily earned overtime.
Lessons learned to apply to your own LNC employees
1. Follow the rules. Adhere to the law. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. You’ve heard that before.
2. Require your employees to get your permission before working overtime. I had one employee who accumulated about $3000 in overtime in a year, more than anyone else. It was not really necessary for her to stay late. I stopped that pattern by requiring her to get permission.
3. Sometimes the employees need to stay late to get a case out the door. Ask your employees to come in later or leave earlier in order to keep their hours at 40.
4. Respect your LNC employees’ free time. Minimize phone calls or text messages or emails to them when they are not at work and off the clock. An enterprising LNC employee may consider that to be work time and put in for overtime.
Treat your LNC employees fairly and with consideration, but also be mindful of the need to control your payroll costs.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC has been self-employed since 1987. She loves business.