The Fair Labor Standards Act requires most employers in New York and around the country to pay their workers at a rate at least equal to the federal minimum wage, but the landmark 1938 law does not provide clear instructions for calculating wages and hours. Several federal courts have ruled that employers may base these calculations on workweeks rather than determining compensation on an hour-by-hour basis, and the Department of Labor, which is the federal agency tasked with administering the law, has not objected to this method being used.
Congress has been content to leave these decisions to the court, and lawmakers have voiced no objections to using workweeks to calculate hourly pay. However, two customer service representatives employed at a call center operated by Xerox filed a lawsuit claiming that basing their pay on workweeks violated the FLSA. The plaintiffs argued that Xerox should have used the hour-by-hour method when preparing their paychecks.
The federal judge hearing the case disagreed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has affirmed the decision. The appeals court said that it found no compelling reason to stray from the path established by numerous other courts and guidelines laid down by the DOL. However, many states, including New York, have their own minimum wage laws, and employers in these states should check the relevant legislation to ensure that they are in full compliance.
Attorneys with experience in these areas, like Egan Law Firm, may be able to help employers to comply with federal and state wage and hour laws and avoid the cost and inconvenience of lawsuits. Egan Law Firm urges employers to use pay slips and time sheets that are clear to avoid misunderstandings, and that they keep accurate and complete payroll records.