If you’ve clicked on this one, you’re hardcore and probably the only one. So let’s get to it.
A couple of Sunday’s ago there was an article in the Post about a lady that was being accused of mistreating her domestic servant. The accuser alleged that based on the hours she was required to maintain (essentially be “on the clock” several hours each day 7 days a week) that her average hourly wage was well below minimum wage.
She also made some allegations about her passport being withheld and that she had to sleep with the dog in the garage when she was sick, so as not to infect the family. I can’t even imagine sending my dog to the garage!
A potential target?
The lady and her husband have built a hugely successful business, so it’s possible, these are false allegations. The family maintains she was treated like a family member – dining with the family and joining them for social events.
Who knows? However, I am of the opinion that if the allegations are proven false, another story should be written with the accuser’s picture on the front page of The Post since the paper included a picture of the accused.
FLSA and Business Owners:
Jumping out of the world of domestic servants and back to business, if you are an Employer, you have to stay up to date on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Related note, when I discuss (FLSA) I am definitely moving out of my area of Professional Expertise (so dismiss or use this information as you see fit).
Unintentional FLSA Violations:
While this is definitely not a new law, confusion is caused for Employers by things like:
- Changes to employee positions that used to be considered exempt that are now non-exempt or
- Hourly employees suddenly bringing suit against an employer because they were using their phones to email and talk to vendors after work hours (alleging they are owed over-time pay).
An FLSA violation could occur, that is an honest mistake.
The role of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) and FLSA Claims:
It’s not a big role, in that most companies are not going to pay FLSA claims. The Insurance Companies view this as a business-practices issue, something that can be controlled by the employer.
With that said, some of the better companies will pay defense with a sub-limit of about $100,000 - and if you qualify, some carriers will pay loss and defense with a sub-limit of $100,000.
Considering all the potential FLSA issues, it is recommended that Employers:
- Conduct Wage and Hour audits and analyze whether or not employees are misclassified (e.g. viewed as exempt when they are not).
- Have a policy for recording work time away from work
- Have a reporting policy for Employees (e.g. similar anti-harassment or discrimination reporting policy) – if caught early it can be rectified quickly since a claim could apply to several positioned employees (e.g. several hourly employees that are using their phone to conduct business out of normal working hours).
Peace of Mind
While the role of EPLI is not significant for FLSA issues – the importance of coverage for an Employer can not be overstated for all other potential Employment Practices issues. If faced with a claim, Employers with coverage have eliminated a tremendous amount of consternation – since they know they are protected!
Here is some more information about EPLI: Why EPLI
Are we witnessing the start of a potential EPLI Claim?
I am not certain what I am going for with that cheesy stock photo - maybe something like, one of them is thought to be exempt, but it turns out they are not.
That lady on the left seems way into that guy! They are all looking at the camera and she can’t keep her eyes off of him! It even looks like she wants to touch him. That guy’s got some serious game!
If he’s not into her like that, I hope they have an EPLI policy, because that looks like trouble (a la a Roger Ailes type situation).
I don’t say this very often, but this one developed into a decent enough post to recommend to your LinkedIn contacts (see the share button below) or a Facebook share if you are trying to reduce your number of friends.
If you would like more information about EPLI for your Business don’t be shy about reaching out: firstname.lastname@example.org