Wages -- Payroll Deductions

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    Is winter weather giving you the wage and hour law blues? Here are a few of the questions I received from clients during winter storms, along with my answers. The answers are based on Rhode Island and federal law. Keep in mind that you also must comply with your own inclement weather policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements that...
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    Q Is it legal to hold an employee's final paycheck until uniforms, tools, or other company property is returned? A No federal law addresses this issue. However, the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act (PWA) applies to all employers in the state except those that employ domestic laborers in private homes or have fewer than five employees at...
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    Q Is it legal to hold an employee's final paycheck until uniforms, tools, or other company property is returned? A No. An employer may not withhold an employee's final paycheck for any reason. If an employee is separated from employment in Utah, he is to be paid all wages he is owed within 24 hours of separation. If an employee without a...
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    Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery has its headquarters in Tempe, but the Celtic sports bar chain has 90 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada. A couple of workplace issues have put the chain in an unflattering light in the hometown media in recent months. The most dramatic was a November 2013 incident in which a kitchen employee stabbed...
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    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) subjects employers to many requirements for paying wages to nonexempt employees (typically hourly workers). Subject to minimum wage and overtime requirements, an employer may deduct amounts from an employee's wages for things such as uniforms, property damage, tools, and cash shortages. Other deductions, such as...
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    Q Our company allows 30 minutes for lunch. Can we enforce the 30-minute policy for salaried employees or just hourly employees? A Your question is an interesting one and can be answered only by clarifying what you mean by "enforcing the 30-minute policy" for salaried employees. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn't require...
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    An employee who is exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is paid a fixed salary. And because the employee is exempt, he doesn't get overtime. You can work him as hard as you want and pay him the salary you've agreed on. That essentially was the deal struck back in the 1930s when the FLSA was implemented. But there are limited instances...
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    Every month, we comb through the New Hampshire Department of Labor's (NHDOL) wage and hour decisions, looking for cases of interest. The cases often stem from common mistakes or oversights and result in adverse decisions against employers. We want to tell you about one decision that provides a helpful illustration of a weak whistleblower claim....
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    Legislators have returned to Montpelier. One bill employers may want to watch closely this session relates to the provision of paid family leave. Particulars of the proposal House Bill 652 was introduced on January 21, 2014, and has been referred to the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs. The bill proposes establishing a...
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    As a follow-up to last month's column, we answer tax questions unique to cross-border employment. Q If I employ an international student, do I withhold U.S. income taxes from her wages? A As a general rule, yes. But some countries have tax treaties with the United States that reduce or eliminate U.S. taxes on all or a portion of a student's...
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