Employee Misclassification: Are You Prepared?
We talked earlier about the importance of job classification in determining overtime wages for Internet specialists. The same concerns and problems hold true for your administrative employees. Given existing legal and regulatory precedents in California, the best way to handle a complaint for overtime wages from an administrative employee is to protect against it.
The California Department of Labor Relations lists exemptions from overtime laws and employees affected by those exemptions. The definition of an individual acting in an administrative capacity is broad, so using appropriate language is key to preventing a claim against your company for overtime wages.
Consider these suggestions for steering clear of accusations of employee misclassification:
- Policy: When drafting or revising your employee handbook, consider speaking with legal counsel as you work through separate handbooks for exempt and non-exempt employees. Employee handbooks are a one-stop-shop for company policy and procedure and a good place to ensure your efforts to classify exempt employees are clear. Poorly crafted handbooks and policy manuals can easily be used in litigation for a variety of employee complaints.
- Practice: During the regular review process, ask exempt employees to self-reflect on questions using regulatory language. For example, ask managers conducting the review to have employees write how they exercised discretion, performed special assignments or assisted in an executive task. By soliciting written feedback from the exempt employee, you create a credible record of job time and responsibilities underpinning the administrative classification.
These are only two ways to protect your business against claims of employee misclassification. Seek skilled legal counsel in San Mateo if working on your employee handbook, or investigating a complaint for employee misclassification.