FLSA Penalties: Mistakes to Avoid

FLSA penalties increase each year for violations of minimum wage, overtime, child labor, record keeping, employee classifications, and more.



If the price of gas feels unbearable, consider this: the civil money penalty for a child labor violation is currently over $14,000. Even during high inflation years, the Department of Labor (DOL) adjusts its penalties for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), serving as a reminder for employers everywhere to comply with minimum wage, overtime, child labor laws, employee classifications, and other standards outlined in the FLSA.

How would the DOL know if I’m out of compliance?

The DOL generally learns about noncompliance problems either from a random audit or because a current or former employee files a complaint. After this happens, an auditor will examine your records (up to three years) and determine whether you have (or had) any violations in your payroll practices.

If pricey FLSA penalties aren’t within your budget, consider these recommendations to help you avoid an unnecessary DOL audit.

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What You Need To Do
What this looks like
On your own
Partnered with Stratus.hr
Understand the language and content of the FLSA
On your own, you must become familiar with everything about the FLSA, including minimum wage laws for each state, overtime requirements and approved exemptions, record keeping requirements, and permissible hours and duties for youth workers. With Stratus HR, our Certified HR experts know the ins and outs of the FLSA and will advise and provide guidance on all FLSA rules and regulations to help keep you compliant.
Conduct an internal audit to reveal any misclassifications
On your own, you'll need to review all job classifications, changes in the federal or state law, or an increase in hours worked by employees who are not clearly exempt or non-exempt. With Stratus HR, our Certified HR experts will review all this information via our HR Assessment.
Review your employees’ job descriptions
On your own, you must ensure all job descriptions are accurate and reflect the jobs that the individuals are actually doing With Stratus HR, our Certified HR experts will review all this information via our HR Assessment.
Review job duties with exemption requirements
On your own, you'll need to assess all employees classified as exempt to ensure their job duties fall within any of these exemption statuses: administrative, executive, professional, computer or outside sales. With Stratus HR, our Certified HR experts will review all this information via our HR Assessment.
Determine if overtime has been properly calculated and paid
On your own, you must review state and federal overtime laws and ensure all nonexempt employees have been paid appropriate overtime wages. With Stratus HR, we'll first ensure all exempt employees have been properly classified. Then our Certified Payroll experts will ensure all nonexempt employees are paid appropriately.
Ensure all employment postings are hung and visible to employees
On your own, you'll first need to determine whether you have all the updated law posters available, then post them in a conspicuous place for employees to see (such as a break room). With Stratus HR, we'll provide you with all updated employment postings.
Analyze timekeeping procedures and methods of pay
On your own, verify your timekeeping system is working and flexible enough to meet your employees' needs. Review your pay methods of calculating rate pay and issuing paychecks to employees within state regulations. With Stratus HR, our custom-built system integrates with 99% of all timekeeping solutions, making your payroll effortless. Don't have a timekeeping solution? We have affordable vendors that are flexible for every workplace! Our Certified Payroll experts ensure all wages are calculated accurately and paychecks are issued within the required timeframes.
Ensure you have three years of wage and hour records
On your own, you'll need to file and maintain the last three years' records of hours worked and wages paid. With Stratus HR, our custom-built system maintains all required payroll records, in the event of an audit. Your staff has 24/7 access to this data, pending the level of permissions you allow.
Keep employees happy to avoid complaints
On your own, ensure you stay in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws, and offer the benefits, tools, and technology that make employees happy. With Stratus HR, we provide you with a full-time HR department at a part-time cost. Partnering with Stratus HR gives you customized HR consulting, employee training, and perfect payroll every pay period. We also provide your company access to large group benefits at economies-of-scale pricing to help you attract and retain top talent. Our Stratus System provides a suite of HR tools that makes your company look and feel cutting edge, which fully integrates with our employee app, Stratus HR Mobile.

For ideas that are more specific to your situation, please contact your certified HR expert. Not a current Stratus HR client? Book a free consultation and our team will contact you shortly.

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