The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is targeting construction firms that violate employment laws. Whether or not these violations were deliberate or accidental, if the DOL uncovers infractions during an investigation, the end result will be costly citations for the construction firm. In this four-part article, a Miami construction lawyer will discuss ten common employment law pitfalls in construction. Remember, to ensure DOL compliance, consult an experienced construction attorney.
1. Your Workers Aren’t Earning Minimum Wage
Although the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, employers are required to compensate their workers the prevailing wage total if the state minimum wage amount is greater than the federal. In Florida, the minimum wage is currently $8.46 per hour. So, for projects in the Sunshine State, construction firms are required to pay each laborer an additional $1.21 per hour compared to the federal minimum wage amount. Contractors need to review wage and hour laws and consult one of our Miami construction lawyers with any questions.
2. Your Workers are Owed Unpaid Overtime
Employers should closely track the number of hours their employees are working every week to ensure that none of their workers are owed unpaid overtime. This starts with educating yourself on what work responsibilities warrant overtime exemptions and also learning about compensatory time. If an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, they are owed one and one-half times their hourly rate for each additional hour they work.
Generally, management-level workers and highly specialized professionals are the only members of a construction jobsite that are not required overtime pay. However, considering construction often has a “work until the job is done” mentality, contractors need to be mindful that long hours can impact their payroll. Lastly, it’s important to keep accurate timesheets for your workforce. When a worker hits 40 hours for a week, you should release them or pay them one and a half-times their hourly rate for each additional hour.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.