Compensation and Benefits
Many believe that problems between employers and employees are inevitable, when the truth is that most of them can easily be avoided. How? By having a firm knowledge and understanding of rules and best practices.
For instance, did you know that employers are only allowed to make deductions from paychecks under certain circumstances? Even though some deductions may seem appropriate, they can only be made if authorized in writing.
Employee misclassification is a common problem, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Employees should be properly classified as exempt or nonexempt for purposes of minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Minimum wage laws may seem straightforward, but some businesses, like restaurants and home health care agencies, face unique challenges. For example, incorrect use of tip pools and credits may subject employers to liability. We help our clients comply with all wage and hour laws, no matter what industry they’re in.
We can help you determine how your employees should be classified and paid. For instance, while common in the oil and gas industry, employees who are paid a day rate may also be entitled to overtime. Even salaried employees working more than 40 hours per week are entitled to overtime. Another common area of confusion is whether or not travel time should be compensated. Our experience in the Permian Basin and other areas has taught us how to keep our clients in compliance, handle governmental or internal investigations, and respond to a lawsuit, whether it’s filed by one employee or on behalf of others.
- Collective Actions: Collective actions are a special kind of suit in which one or more employees sue on behalf of others “similarly situated.” Like a class action, these suits can be particularly expensive for employers because of the potential liability resulting from the involvement of multiple employees. We’ve handled this type of suit and can help you resolve it quickly.
Time Off & Leave
In Texas, employers are not required to provide paid sick leave or vacation time. However, if paid benefits are provided, they should be administered in a consistent manner, otherwise they can lead to discrimination claims. In addition, the Texas Labor Code and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) may require time off as a reasonable accommodation for certain health conditions or disabilities.
- FMLA: If an employer has 50 or more workers living within a 75-mile radius, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires unpaid, job-protected leave in certain circumstances, including pregnancy, the birth or adoption of a child, to care for an ill child, spouse or parent, etc. The requirements of the FMLA are complex. For example, it can be difficult to determine how “intermittent leave” should be counted. We help clients manage FMLA situations to benefit both their employees and their business.