Karen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook and I’m Karen Love; I’m the Host and Founder of the show. I‘m here with Wilka Toppins and she is the Principle and Founder Lawyer of the Toppins Law Firm and we’re having her back again to talk about overtime and new laws and I would like to know based on the first two segments we did with you, it seems like there’s steps that employers or team member, employees, would need to take. Could you do an overview of what those steps would be to become compliant?
Wilka: Absolutely Karen. The first thing we are asking employers to do is to first educate themselves.
Wilka: Go to the website; the Department of Labor has a lot of information on its website. It’s DOL.gov, it’s right there on the front page.
Karen: DOL.gov, okay.
Wilka: Educate yourselves; call your advisor whether it’s your Human Resource advisor, whether it’s your Accountant, whether it’s your attorney or someone like ourselves – an outside firm – could be hired to educate and inform about the law. You need to understand the law, it’s going to apply to you no matter what, whether you know it or not.
Wilka: The second thing is once you educate about the law you can perform what’s called an audit – an internal audit – just to see if you have to make any changes to become compliant with any law. It may be that you don’t need any changes; it may be that you’re fine and you document that and you put it away in your audit file.
Karen: So it’s just a diagnostic tool to actually figure out whether you’re in compliance or not.
Wilka: Or what do you need to do to become compliant December the 1st. Because I want to point out Karen to the audience as well that there is no grace period, so the law will become the law on December the 2nd; the next day.
Karen: Right, this is important.
Wilka: So you have 4 months to do this audit, to become complaint, talk to your advisor, educate yourself, talk to your HR professionals and put some steps into play. Some of the things we’re suggesting after you do an audit and you see that you do have to make some adjustments; you can either raise the salary above the threshold to avoid the overtime – well, that’s going to be expensive, right? Not everybody can just raise salaries the next day; you may have to prepare for that. You may not be able to raise salaries at that point, what you can do is really, really modify or come up with a good overtime policy. So you avoid overtime.
Karen: Okay, so just another step there.
Wilka: Right, so you have to look at your policies. Last thing is if you do have the overtime that make sure you have a policy to record the work in excess of the 40 hours per week so that you can then pay accordingly. So those are the suggestions at this point.
Karen: First steps; well thank you very much, those are very helpful and we could reach out to the Department of Labor to look at what the compliance issues are.
Wilka: That’s right,
Karen: Fantastic, thank you very much.
Karen: I think we need to have you back again to talk a little bit more on this.
Wilka: Okay, perfect.
Karen: Thank you. This had been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in again.