Employers: Consider an Alternative to Overtime

Effective December 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s new federal overtime rules make employees who are paid less than $47,476 annually eligible for overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Currently, under the federal rules, employees who make $23,660 annually are often eligible for an exemption that allows employers to pay them on a salary basis, thus avoiding the cost of overtime. The dramatic increase in the salary threshold required to classify an employee as exempt from overtime has made employers concerned that they will have to reduce employee hours or lay off employees to deal with additional employment costs. Employees are similarly worried that losing their exempt status will result in the loss of flexible work schedules, particularly in states like California that require overtime to be paid when an employee works more than 8 hours in a day.

But what if employers could still allow non-exempt (hourly) employees to maintain their flexible work schedules without incurring overtime costs? Ford & Diulio PC is ready to help you use California’s often ignored “Alternative Workweek Schedule” process to maintain flexible employee schedules without running afoul of overtime rules.
Although common in industries such as nursing, many employers, particularly small businesses, are not aware of the Alternative Workweek Schedule (“AWS”) election process available under California law. This is likely because the process is seemingly arduous, requiring a secret ballot election even when only one or a few employees fall within the same work unit/job classification. In brief, the process requires an unbiased written proposal of the AWS, formal notice, a mandatory meeting, secret ballot election, and registration with the Department of Labor. Despite lobbying efforts for a legislative exemption for small employers, the multi-step AWS process is required even if an employer only wants to offer an AWS to a single employee.

Ford & Diulio PC can help guide you through the AWS process on a flat-rate basis. Working with you, we will prepare all necessary documentation and help you set up a secret ballot election that complies with the law. Unlike other law firms that only bill by unpredictable hourly rates, Ford & Diulio PC offers our services for a flat-rate fee so that you can easily see the costs of implementing an AWS and compare them with the costs of paying overtime instead. We are confident you will quickly see the high value in our services.

For more information on implementing an AWS, contact Ford & Diulio PC via e-mail at jdiulio@forddiulio.com or call us at 714-450-6830.