7 Deadly FLSA Violations – Are You Guilty?

Image of a woman standing in front of a brick wall. She has a frown on her face and both hands display thumbs down. The image has a transparent blue filter over it.

Over on the TSheets blog, they’ve worked with 10 leading labor law attorneys to compile this list and provide advice on the 7 most deadly (and common) FLSA violations. Are you committing any of these sins?

“Now is the time to take a hard look at your company and ensure you aren’t unknowingly committing one of these deadly sins of the FLSA.” – TSheets, Discover the 7 Deadly FLSA Violations that Put You at Risk

7 Deadly FLSA Violations

1. Misclassifying Employees

Your employees are generally classified as either exempt or nonexempt. Exempt classification means the employee is exempt from FLSA rules like overtime pay. They are compensated for the work performed, not the hours worked. Employers may feel like classifying employees as exempt for different reasons, but it’s not as easy as you might think.

Research by TSheets shows that there are currently over 8.6 million employees misclassified. Misclassification can lead to labor audits and possibly employee lawsuits. It’s a deadly sin! Learn more about employee classification here.

2. Working Off-the-Clock

This mistake is easier than ever to accidentally make. Modern technology puts work emails right in the palm of your hand, making it difficult for employees to ignore. 81% of salaried employees regularly work outside of working hours.

Does a voicemail, email, or text count? Click here to find out.

3. Unauthorized Overtime

Unauthorized overtime, or failing to pay employees even if the overtime worked was unapproved is a deadly sin. Nearly 16% of U.S. employees put in extra hours most days of the week. These employees may not have been approved for the overtime work, your business might even have a policy against it. However, does that mean you don’t have to pay them for it? Authorized or not, the FLSA has strict regulations to ensure employees are paid for overtime hours at a certain rate. Learn more here.

4. Mismanaging Breaks

Effective leaders lead by example. Do you take proper breaks throughout the day? Do you step away from your work desk for your lunch? TSheets research says only 1 in 5 workers step away from their desk for a midday meal. Are you encouraging this violation with your own actions?

It seems obvious that employees would clock out for their lunches (and actually step away from their work), especially in states where it’s mandatory. But, it’s just one of those things not happening. It’s one of the 7 deadly FLSA sins that might be happening in your business.

5. Inaccurate Time and Payroll Records

Do your employees track their hours? An American Payroll Association survey showed that 33 percent of employees who responded say their employers don’t require it. However, accurate records are important to avoiding FLSA violations. Make sure your employees are keeping track! Grab our new Timekeeping 101 PDF to learn more about employee timekeeping.

6. Unpaid Interns

In 2015, 65 percent of bachelor’s degree graduates participated in internships. Do you employ interns? You might in the near future. Make sure you know your dos and don’ts when it comes to internships, learn more here.

7. Not Staying Current on State or DOL Regulations

Why are FLSA violations so common? Well, they can be difficult to keep up with. Some business owners assume that what they don’t know can’t hurt them. But, that mindset won’t serve them well… ignorance does not equal innocence. Don’t make this mistake. Make it a priority to keep up on current regulations, for the protection of yourself, your business, and your employees.

You could be committing some of these FLSA violations without even knowing it. We don’t want you to have to experience the penalties that come with that. Be informed and take action in your company. Pass this along to your HR department and managers so they too can watch out for violations.


Check out the TSheets full article on the 7 Deadly Sins here.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *