Tracking Overtime Compensation
The home care industry continues to keep a close eye on the issue of overtime compensation. Various federal and state rules have been proposed that would affect requirements around which workers are eligible for overtime pay and when. As such, it’s been critical for agency owners to stay abreast of the latest developments. Just recently, a federal judge invalidated one of these rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor. Knowing how this new development may affect your home care agency is important.
Know the Law
Needless to say, as a home care agency owner you should continue to be sure that you are familiar with overtime laws as they apply to your agency, and be thorough. According to the rules set by the Fair Labor Standards Act, a workweek is forty hours and any hours worked past the forty hour mark earn time and a half. However, you can find variations on those standards throughout the country. These laws may be statewide or specific to a single county or even a single city. Familiarize yourself with the relevant rules and statutes for the municipality where your agency operates and know what you might be up against should the rules be violated. You don’t want to find yourself the subject of a class-action lawsuit because you didn’t do your homework.
Establish a Process
In addition to getting up to speed on all of the relevant overtime rules and requirements that apply to your agency, you’ll want to make sure you have a good system in place to track your caregivers’ overtime hours. To start, you will need to instill in your caregivers the importance of accurately reporting their shifts. If they can’t be trusted to reliably clock in and clock out, then your payroll is built on a shaky foundation as it is. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but you might find that getting everyone in your agency on the same page is no small feat! This will be much easier if you have encouraged a company culture that fosters the sort of diligence required, but it’s never too late to start!
Of course, applying overtime rules and compensating your caregivers correctly can be difficult if you don’t have a system in place to accurately record hours worked. You need to have a timekeeping system you can rely on to track hours worked. It needs to be able to accurately categorize which of those hours should be considered straight time and which should be considered overtime.
If calculating and tracking your employee’s overtime has been a problem for you before, watch the video below and see how the Rosemark System makes this process easier.
Join the Discussion: Have you had problems tracking overtime hours in the past? What systems or practices have helped you resolve this issue for your agency?