Q: I’m trying to think of the easiest way to deal with the new overtime rules. We have employees working in many locations, so I was thinking I could just send a company-wide email telling ALL employees that their overtime needs to be pre-approved. This way those who end up getting reclassified are aware of the rules (and everyone else gets a good reminder). Does this seem like an okay approach to getting the word out?
A: I would advise against this approach. If you were to simply send out an email to all employees reminding them of the company's overtime policy, it's very likely that employees currently classified as exempt would completely disregard the email.
Instead, I strongly recommend issuing an FLSA Reclassification letter to each employee who will be reclassified. The letter should be issued before employees are changed from exempt to non-exempt; we recommend at least one pay period of advance notice. The letter should inform employees of the federal rule changes and details about their new pay structure and rate of pay. We have a sample letter available in the FLSA Overtime Changes Action Guide.
In addition to providing information about their classification change, you should also ensure employees have a copy of any policies that will be applicable to them now that they are non-exempt. Likely candidates include overtime (as you are aware), off-the-clock work prohibitions, timekeeping requirements, meal and rest break rules, and any policy you’d like to enforce regarding their use of personal electronic devices for work. If employees are seeing these for the first time, make sure you get a signed acknowledgement. If these are already in your employee handbook, give your soon-to-be-reclassified employees time to reread it with their new classification in mind.
We have an assortment of sample policies in the Mammoth Support Center, and dedicated HR Professionals ready to help you prepare for the December 1 effective date.
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