One of the many factors that human resource persons use to boost the workforce is the payment for the employee’s hard work. With the right and appropriate salary, employees are cared for proficiently. Nevertheless, employees and employers should agree on the terms and conditions of salary and even overtime pay.
Thus, to better aid employers and employees, legislators have come up with various standard guidelines for wages. One of these laws is the Fair Labor Standards Act also known as FLSA or the Act (Foret). Yet again, there are times that such legislative acts are unclear that instead of providing clarity, increases conflict between two parties. Such situations are presented in an article entitled “Federal Overtime Requirements – Who May Take Advantage of the Fluctuating Workweek Method of Calculating Overtime?” by Robin Foret posted on HRResource.com.
Foret tries to cite various instances wherein the Act becomes an opportunity of abuse and misuse. This is due to one of the provisions of the Act which is the Fluctuating Workweek Method of Calculating Overtime (Foret). The said method becomes an occasion for employers to either get away from responsibilities or provide salary below the minimum wage in discrete means.
Throughout the article, many court rulings and cases were cited wherein the ‘fluctuating workweek’ method was used favorably as well as unfavorably. Favorably, the method can be used to pay the employees in one-half the regular pay per hour of overtime thus creating a chance to decrease the expenses incurred by the employers. Although there are appeals to the use of the method such as the case to the Tenth Circuit, the employers may be ruled as rightfully implementing the Act (Foret).
On the other hand, employee appeals are not actually done in vain. In other cases, the fluctuating workweek method was not implemented and thus the court favored the employees. Instead of bestowing a rate of one-half the regular rate, the employees received one and one-half the regular rate of pay per overtime hour (Foret).
This is in conjunction with the other provisions of the Act and is thus ruled mainly due to misclassification of employees (Foret). Furthermore, there are states such as California that do not actually prefer the fluctuating workweek method and so, implementation is not performed by authorities (Foret). Upon presenting such cases in different events and varying places, the writer effectively demonstrates the confusion that the fluctuating workweek method of the Act brings forth.
Through presenting factual court proceedings, the article proves its point that confusion arises from the fluctuating workweek method even to the point that one could not decide who benefits the most from the provision, whether the employers or employees. A brief glimpse of the provisions is also quoted by the writer creating an urge to recommend that amendments to the law should be initiated. However, instead of suggesting that the Act be amended, the writer cautions the employers in the implementation of the fluctuating workweek method through consultation with legal counsel (Foret).
It would have been a more radical and agreeable recommendation if the author suggested that the provision be revised by legislators. Although such action is rather tedious, it would ensure clarity and efficiency since it will tackle specific cases and situations. It is also recommended that a summary of the whole Act should have been presented to the readers so that readers will understand the terms exhibited by the Act.
Summarily, the said method has caused chaos to both employers and employees. Human resource persons are advised to let employers take caution in utilizing this method to make sure that such technique is appropriate for their employees. Nevertheless, it would be valuable if amendments are done to clarify the provisions of the Act.
Foret, Robin. “Federal Overtime Requirements – Who May Take Advantage of the Fluctuating Workweek Method of Calculating Overtime”. HRResource.com. 3 September 2008. Lorman Business Center. 21 October 2008 <http://www.hrresource.com/articles/view.php?article_id=873&page_number=2>.
Courtney from Study Moose
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