Employer and employee relations have many different ways in which organizations understand laws and guidelines set forth by governing bodies in the respective area and within the entire nation (Bennett-Alexander, & Hartman, 2007). This paper analyzes the differences in regular employees vs. temporary employees and independent contractors. It will also discuss the differences between exempt and non-exempt employees. Finally, it will look at the laws in Colorado and how Northrop Grumman responds to those laws.
“Regular” Employees vs. Temporaries or Independent Contractors
The Board of Directors and human resources department at Northrop Grumman strongly believes in and upholds the various employment laws that have been established and enforced by the EEOC. Northrop Grumman’s human resource department has provided an employee manual to each worker, which contains an enclosed at-will clause. Furthermore, Northrop Grumman has an extended workweek compensation policy for all salaried staff members. According to the company’s employee handbook, salaried employees who are scheduled to work 40 hours or more per week are required to receive an extended amount of compensation for their time.
In addition, all regular employees are only entitled to receive straight pay regardless if any overtime has been worked throughout the workweek. The only time an exception is made regarding salaried employees is if they work during a holiday or on a Saturday or Sunday. However, for an employee to be able to receive holiday pay, that individual must be on the active payroll and not on leave of absence (Northrop Grumman, 2006). Northrop Grumman also offers a variety of different to help its employees continue their education, which includes tuition reimbursement and graduate study programs and are offered to all employees (Northrop Grumman, 2006). Overall, all regular employees at Northrop Grumman are compensated with various perks, such as a flexible benefits packages that’s tailored to fit their individual and family needs; in addition, vacation, bereavement, holiday and leave of absence pay.
In terms of temporary or independent contractors, they are treated entirely different from regular employees due-to being leased workers. These types of employees are not granted such things as company benefits packages, incentives and saving plans. Lastly, these workers must adhere to company training, applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures that govern the occupational safety and health practices (OSHA).
Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees
An exempt employee varies from a non-exempt employee in many ways.
The first type of employee is an exempt employee. An exempt employee is an employee who is paid on salary and does not get a reduced paycheck because they do not work a certain number of hours or do a certain amount of work. An exempt employee is given a base salary, which is the annual salary, which excludes shift, overtime and other differentials or bonuses.
Another fact about exempt employee is that they are not subject to minimum wage and overtime requirements as set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act. An exempt employee may be required to work more than a 40 hour work week without any compensation. An exempt employee can work an extended workweek (EWW). This means that they can, in extraordinary circumstances, work extra hours during a workweek and get paid additional compensation. At Northrop Grumman, the exempt employee must work at least six hours over the employee’s standard workweek to be considered working an extended workweek.
The extended workweek cannot last more than three months for each project or approval by recommending manager, approving manager, contracts director and HR director. When an EWW is in effect, the employee’s straight time rate will be paid for each hour worked. The straight time rate is figured by dividing the employee’s weekly salary by the number of hours they are regularly scheduled (Northrop Grumman, 2006). An example of how an exempt employee is paid is: if an employee is 50% exempt and has a standard word schedule of 24 hours per timesheet and the employee works 32 hours on a timesheet, the employee is eligible to receive 2 hours of EWW pay. There are some guidelines the can be subject to were the employers does not need pay the employee for any workweek in which he or she performs no work.
Here are some examples of the examples of guidelines for exempt employees at Northrop Grumman:
An employee will not be considered to be on a salary basis if deductions from his predetermined compensation are made for absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business. Accordingly, if the employee is ready, willing, and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available.
Deductions may also be made for absences of a day or more occasioned by sickness or disability (including industrial accidents) if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for loss of salary occasioned by both sickness and disability.
Deductions may not be made for absences of an employee caused by jury duty, attendance as a witness, or temporary military leave. The employer may be offset by any amount received by an employee as jury or witness fees or military pay for a particular week against the salary due for that particular week without loss of the exemption (Health, 2008, para, 4).
Another type of employee is the non-exempt employee. One on the more known reasons is that the non-exempt employee is paid hourly. Non-exempt employees are only paid for hours they have worked. While an exempt employee is paid on salary and gets paid the same amount every week, no matter how many hours they work. This means if they work over 40 hours a week they will be paid overtime. This could be a benefit for non-exempt employees because they are compensated for the extra hours they put in.
There are no exceptions to the stated laws of the FLAS concerning a non-exempt employee; therefore, Northrop Grumman must follow all rules and regulations in regard to paying minimum wage and overtime to these workers. The FLSA demands that every business pay non-exempt employees one and half times his or her regular pay for all hours worked over 40 in one week.
At Northrop Grumman, a non-exempt employee will be given plenty of notice at or before lunchtime the day overtime is required, if this amount of time is not given in advance they will consider the overtime worked voluntary. The non-exempt employee will be expected to work the overtime; unless it has been determined that requirement places a hardship on the employee. Non-exempt employees are compensated with holiday pay, which is considered straight time pay based on normal work hours. If the employee works on the holiday that individual will be paid double his or her regular pay for hours worked, then the worker is still entitled to receive his or her holiday pay. Northrop Grumman also gives a year-end holiday pay to all workers. The employees get paid for an extra 40 hours, unless those individuals normally work less hours; if so, they will be paid for the hours they originally work during a week (Northrop Grumman, 2006).
Northrop Grumman Relating to State Laws
In the majority of states, employees that do not work under an employment contract are deemed to be “at will.” Colorado is a state that follows that statue as well. At-will employees may be terminated for any reason, so long as the terms are not illegal. Northrop Grumman is a corporation that hires all employees at will. According to Termination of Employment Policy ITP H7 (2007), all employment at Northrop Grumman Information Technology business department is at-the-will of the company therefore, termination may be determined by the management and in accordance with company policy and procedure.
Colorado has two exceptions to the at-will rule based upon the legal principles of “public policy” and “implied contract.” First, the public policy exception simply means that an employee cannot be fired for performing a legal duty or exercising a legal right. Second, a binding employment relationship may be found to have been created by an implied or an express contract. The contract theory usually arises in situations in which procedures outlined in personnel handbooks are construed as a contract between the employer and employee (Employment Law, 2008).
Northrop Grumman has an employee handbook that clearly outlines the guidelines behind employment-at-will and how the company has a right to use this doctrine. Although the information is expressed in the handbook, it is not mentioned during the hiring or new hire orientation processes. The company included the information in the handbook, which by law is all they are required to do.
In conclusion, regardless of the type of relationship that an employee has with Northrop Grumman, all are treated in a fair and legal way. Northrop Grumman ensures this by adhering to all laws, guidelines, and regulations that are designed to protect the American worker. That protection is extended to all types of workers, not just regular employees. Contractors, non-exempt, and exempt employees are all treated the same. However, not all companies can truthfully say this! Fortunately, there are state and federal laws to ensure that everyone that works at Northrop Grumman is treated fairly.
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