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HR departments can avoid costly issues with clear policies

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According to a recent article on HR.BLR.com, issues involved unpaid overtime can become problematic for companies and their human resources departments, specifically.

To avoid these issues, the article relays that clear policies are needed and should be explained to employees.

Initially, companies need to determine which employees are non-exempt from overtime pay. Those who are exempt cannot receive any overtime compensation, so effectively determining who is eligible is important.

While employee handbooks can be helpful with policies, they aren't always followed. The handbook could state that no employee can work more than 40 hours without a manager's approval, however, if one employee does and then creates a controversy over it, the handbook has proven ineffective. These controversies can then lead to lawsuits for unpaid work, which by law, most companies must compensate for.

Furthermore, employees that bring mobile devices home to answer calls or email after work hours, their weekly total may surpass 40 hours as well. Thus, these workers would then be entitled to compensation as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

As a result, the article states that companies need to strictly enforce policies regarding overtime work, and even use daily time sheets for employees to effectively record their work hours.

Failure to enforce policies can possibly result in costly lawsuit regarding a company's employment practices. 

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