Employers face challenges over FLSA News added by Benefits Pro on July 24, 2014

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By Alan Goforth

Any changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must be flexible enough to meet the demands of a fast-changing marketplace, a human resources professional told a Congressional subcommittee Wednesday.

Nancy McKeague, chief human resources officer at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, testified on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management. She previously was senior vice president, employer and community strategies, for the association. McKeague spoke at the Improving the Federal Wage and Hour Regulatory Structure hearing of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

“Even some of the best employers face practical challenges with the FLSA,” she said.\ “Complying with the statute can create high legal costs for employers.”

McKeague pointed out several key concerns with the FLSA:
  • Classifying employees as exempt or nonexempt is challenging for employers because it is partly based on subjective criteria and because employees often perform a mix of functions in one position.
  • FLSA also makes it difficult for employers to offer flexible hours and prohibits offering comp time to private-sector nonexempt employees.
  • Changes could make compliance even more complicated for employers, particularly small businesses and nonprofit organizations, and could reduce flexibility for employers and employees.
The Department of Labor is expected to propose changes to FLSA regulations this fall.

“Any changes to the FLSA regulations should be carefully constructed to prevent a new wave of litigation and additional confusion,” McKeague told the subcommittee.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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