FLSA Frequently Asked Questions

HR Partners frequently has inquiries regarding exempt employees and managing their schedules. See below for a few of the most common questions and answers.

Can an employer create a specified schedule for exempt employees? 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) does not specifically prohibit employers from requiring exempt employees to work a particular schedule or to track the hours they work. The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has stated that employers may require exempt employees to work a specific schedule and to record and track hours without affecting their exempt status. 29 CFR Part 541. However, it is important to note that if you require exempt employees to work a certain number of hours and account for their work time on an hourly basis, you may jeopardize the exempt status of these employees if the accounting has the effect of treating them like hourly workers. This will likely create liability for overtime payment for the employer.

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CBD in the Workplace  

Marijuana and hemp both contain Cannabidiol (“CBD”), which is now being marketed and sold in a variety of forms, including oil (the most popular), health and beauty products, vapors, beverages, and infused edibles, such as chocolates and gummies. CBD is a chemical found in marijuana and its close relative, hemp. However, pure CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. In addition, pure CBD usually will not report a positive test result for marijuana because drug tests typically look for THC levels that are too low to be detected from pure CBD. For this reason, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, employees are generally not at risk of becoming intoxicated or impaired if they use pure CBD. However, if the CBD product contains enough THC, it is entirely possible the product could cause a positive drug test result for THC.

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Motivating Burned-Out Workers

Have you noticed your best workers unmotivated or burned out? Motivating a burned-out employee takes more than an extended weekend. Below are five (5) strategies to help employees go from burned-out to energized:

  1. Create a career development pipeline. Companies should look for opportunities to build a succession planning program, particularly among non-exempt employees where the potential to create advancement opportunity is easy to achieve.
  2. Develop a “high-po” program. High potential programs focus on identifying the top workers and awarding them for their achievements, while building their skills. These employees may not be ready to promote, but the structured program serves as an effective recognition and development tool that contributes to formal succession planning.
  3. Develop an active employee recognition program. Employee recognition is critical to honor outstanding employees and their efforts. Look for simple and effective ways for managers to recognize their employees and communicate the expectations and celebrations openly.
  4. Help employees reach their personal career goals. Employee satisfaction is driven by career development. Companies can assist their high potential employees by building their resume through training and educational opportunities.
  5. Plan ahead. Job security and stability is crucial to employees. Informing employees of how their contributions affect the company’s larger goals is an effective way to motivate employees.

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Protected Activity – Discussing Wages, Benefits and Working Conditions 

Many companies at one point or another have experienced the negative impacts of “water cooler talk” on staff morale and productivity. To alleviate the effects of employees discussing their wages, many companies enforce a policy prohibiting discussion of wages. However, if you are a private sector employer in America, a policy prohibiting discussion of wages is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which provides employees the right to discuss the “terms and conditions of employment” with one another, including their wages, benefits, etc. This right applies in both union and non-union settings, as well as on social media platforms.

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From the Desk of Kristina Dietrick

From the Desk of Kristina Dietrick
President, HR Partners

Since I have been in the Human Resources field for over 25 years, it is rare that I learned 5 “new to me” items. I would like to share:

  1. PTO May Not Be Stacked with Other Paid Leave During FMLA

During FMLA leave, an employer may not require an employee to “stack” PTO and paid disability leave. 29 C.F.R. Section 825.207(d) states that because leave pursuant to a disability benefit plan is not unpaid, the provision for substitution of the employee's accrued paid leave is inapplicable, and neither the employee nor the employer may require the substitution of paid leave. However, employers and employees may agree to have paid leave supplement the disability plan benefits, for example, where a plan only provides replacement income for two-thirds of an employee's salary.

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What our clients say...

Kaw Valley Bank

Susan Koch
Human Resources Officer 
Kaw Valley Bank

"It gives me the peace of mind knowing that we have the support and expertise of Human Resources professionals just a phone call away through our collaboration with HR Partners.

I would definitely tell anyone considering working with the HR Partners team that they offer a wide variety of services tailored to the client. The HR Partners team assisted our Company with the revision of the Employee Handbook by customizing it to our needs and culture while ensuring it complied with federal, state, and local employment laws."