Monday, December 22, 2008

Many Owners Violate Wage & Hour Regs.

I've just finished a column for the Feb. 2009 issue of Quick Printing magazine titled, "Don't Let 'Salaried' Employees Read this Column." Much of the column was prompted by a recent consulting visit as well as discussions of this topic on Printowners, a list serv to which I subscribe. You can find out more about this list serv by visiting:

In the briefest of summaries, the article notes that a title or pay level is not enough to avoid paying someone overtime. Simply giving these employees the title of "manager," "administrator," "production manager" or "creative professional" does not by itself allow you to avoid paying time and one-half for all hours more than 40 hours per week.

Just because you know of another business where this is done doesn't make it right or legal. There are many professions and industries that have been granted exemptions from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) but printing is not one of those industries. A careful read of the regulations is a must if you want to avoid future audits and fines. Remember, it only takes one disgruntled employee to launch a probe by a state FLSA division or department.

If you have chosen, for whatever reason, to place an employee on an annual salary and that employee occasionally works more than 40 hours per week the chances are better than 50-50 that you are required to pay them overtime. If you don't you are most likely violating the law. Once again, titles or even the pay level have little if anything to do with whether that employee is exempt or not.

There are six primary job categories under FLSA regulations that are exempt from overtime requirements. They are:
  1. Executive Employee
  2. Administrative Employee
  3. Learned Professional
  4. Creative Professional
  5. Computer Employee
  6. Outside Sales
At first glance, you might look at these exempt titles and conclude that you are safe, but a closer look at the requirements for each will most often uncover requirements that would dis-allow your classifying employees as exempt. Typesetters and graphic artists would rarely qualify under eithe the "creative" or the "computer" categories. Press operators who both manage and run a press themselves would rarely qualify under the regulations. Managers who also fill-in and perform many of the same tasks of those they supervise would also not be considered exempt.

For a great article on this subject visit:


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