- In a case revealing the power of FLSA misunderstandings, a manufacturing plant in PA was sued by three employees who said they weren't being paid for "shift relief" duties — essentially, required time after each shift where an employee must make sure incoming workers are prepared for the day, HR Morning reports.
- DuPont, owner of the plants, did not see shift relief as time worked, and argued it didn't need to pay employees for that time since it gave workers three half-hour meal breaks during their 12-hour shift.
- The meal breaks were not all required by FLSA, so the company assumed they were building up "credit" of FLSA time. The court did not agree. In fact, it said that this "type of bookkeeping was one of the things the FLSA was created to combat," HR Morning reports.
There are clear ways to cut down on overtime worked, and then there are clearly poor ways to do so. Following laws like FLSA will require employers to be compliant to the letter of the law, especially once the new overtime rule passes and scrutiny increases. The EEOC and DOL have shown they are not afraid to go after companies that attempt shoddy workarounds.
Equal compensation was one area of focus announced by the EEOC in its Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021.