- Smiley Dental Associates Inc., a Nashville-based dental practice, will pay $50,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 10 employees to resolve alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions.
- Among other things, the employer required candidates to undergo a "working interview" to complete their application but failed to pay them for the hours they worked. It also failed to pay overtime; authorized its accountant to falsify records to make it appear as if the company was paying overtime; required workers to attend training during lunch breaks without pay; and failed to display wage and hour posters in the workplace.
- "The outcome of this investigation should remind all employers to review their pay practices to confirm that workers are being paid as the law requires," said Nettie Lewis, a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division district director, in a statement.
The FLSA generally requires that employees be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, and time-and-one-half for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.
And while working interviews are common in many industries, they'll often be considered compensable time under the FLSA. Sometimes the "interviews" involve applicants performing work, or they amount to training for which workers are entitled to pay. In other situations, staffing agency employees have alleged they should be paid for time spent interviewing with clients — with some success.
Experts continue to recommend training for managers as an important way to prevent employment law violations. When it comes to interviewing, HR can remind hiring managers of the FLSA's requirements and help them design job interviews to ensure compliance.