Long Island Business News featured Lois Carter Schlissel in an article titled “Time Savers.” The article, published August 31st, discusses, how on Dec. 1, about 4.2 million workers who weren’t previously eligible will become entitled to overtime pay.The new rules will primarily affect white-collar workers with modest salaries and the companies that employ them. Affected employers have three months to figure out what strategy they will use to limit their labor costs while meeting their obligations.
The article stated: “Employers can reduce overtime by redistributing work, said Lois Carter Schlissel, managing attorney and head of the employment law practice at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein in Garden City.
“At the beginning of each week, look at what each department has to do and spread the work out more evenly, so you don’t have some people working 50 hours and some working 30,” Schlissel said.
Smart employers will also have a policy that requires overtime to be preapproved. However, Schlissel pointed out, “it’s important to understand that if an employee violates that policy and works overtime without getting preapproval, the employee still must be paid.” An employer can discipline the employee for violating the policy – but it must pay him for the time worked.
Overtime can also be reduced by hiring additional workers to handle the excess work. However, companies who do this to avoid overtime must factor in the recruiting and onboarding costs involved in bringing on new employees – including benefits in the case of full-time workers – said Michael Greenwald, partner and corporate and business tax practice leader in the Uniondale office of accounting firm Friedman.
With the new regulations, some employers may find themselves newly in the position of having to track employee time, said Jonah Gruda, a senior tax manager in the Woodbury office of accounting firm WeiserMazars.
“They may not have the infrastructure in place, such as time-tracking software, which is another cost,” he said.
When employees who never had to track their time before are told they must now punch a clock, morale can take a hit. However, it’s essential that employers have an accurate, sophisticated time-keeping system.
“It’s less exposure for the employer, and it’s better for the workers because it ensures all their work will be counted,” Schlissel said.”
The full article can be read at Long Island Business News (may require subscription).