Service Contract Act wages, fringe benefits, and owner-operator difficulties
Morris Jennings FLSA Consultant
Former DOL Wage and Hour Division Enforcement Officer
Clients in all areas of the United States are efficiently and effectively assisted through
Examination of records and documents received via fax, mail, or as e-mail attachments
A review of employer practices and policies may detect violations, questionable exemption determinations, or dubious methods of compensation. Achieving compliance causes the accrual of back wages to cease. Avoiding close questions reduces the probability of a DOL investigation or a collective-action suit by plaintiffs.
If an employer elects to voluntarily restore back pay, Morris can compute the unpaid wages or provide guidance.
An issue with many employers is loss of the opportunity to claim the "motor carrier" overtime exemption. The FLSA Section 13(b)(1) exemption applied very broadly for nearly seven decades. The exemption continues to have wide application in the trucking industry and to specific types of passenger transportation. However, many drivers and other safety-affecting employees are now subject to the overtime standards. Because of legislation enacted in 2005 and 2008, DOL asserts that the overtime provisions apply even to exempt employees under certain circumstances. This obviously results in a back wage liability if these employees have not been paid correctly computed overtime compensation (even when they are paid on a commission or mileage basis). Any employer who is operating under the assumption that FLSA Section 13(b)(1) exemption applies to safety-affecting employees should become very familiar with the current exemption requirements and DOL enforcement policies. This is not only a problem for employers in the event that they are investigated by DOL; vulnerability to collective-action employee suits is great when there are doubts about the application of this exemption. The Transportation Exemption page further discusses changes in how the overtime provisions affect transportation employees.
Investigation or Other Enforcement Action by the Wage and Hour Division
You have been advised by DOL that your firm, organization, or public agency will be investigated to determine compliance with the Wage and Hour Division laws. What should you do now? Get expert help right away. These laws are extremely complex, and an employer needs someone "in his or her corner" who is as knowledgeable as is the investigator.
Even if the investigation has already begun, or it has been completed but you have not yet paid back wages, consultation will be helpful. While it is to your advantage that an experienced and competent Wage and Hour expert is involved early in the investigation process, obtaining assistance during or subsequent to the investigation is nevertheless beneficial to you.
Services available nationally (via telephone conferences, e-mail, and fax) include FLSA,Service Contract Act, and Davis-Bacon Act consultation, compliance assistance, DOL investigation guidance, self-audit coordination, and litigation support as a consulting expert.