ELS Partner Chandra C. Davis Presents at GABWA’s Solo/Small Firm Symposium

solo-small-firm-symposiumOn Friday, September 16, 2016, ELS Partner, Chandra C. Davis presented at the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys’ (GABWA) Solo/Small Firm Symposium. Chandra presented information regarding employers’ responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A summary of her presentation is below:

Fair Labor Standards Act
There are two groups that are affected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”): Employers and Employees. Employees that are affected by the FLSA include hourly and salaried workers, white collar workers and government and private employees. The basic requirement for the FLSA include minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, overtime pay for over 40 hours worked in a workweek, and other recordkeeping requirements.
1099 Independent Contractors v. W2 Employees
To determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, one can do the IRS 20-Factor test. Employees are usually economically dependent, rely on the employer, are integral to employer’s business, their terms of employment are indefinite, and are provided with a sense of direction from the employer. On the other hand, independent contractors are economically independent, makes independent business judgement, are active in open market competition, have lack of a permanent relationship, and have freedom from control. In order for one to protect her independent contractor status, one must (1) set her own hours; (2) provides her own tools (i.e., computer); (3) not hold herself out as an employee; (4) work for other businesses; (5) have a shorter term engagement; (6) have no benefits; (7) invoice; and (8) have an independent contractor agreement.
Overtime pay: How do the current regulations, proposed rule and final rule compare?
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Unpaid interns
Fair Labor Standards Act has its own requirements for a group of people called “trainees.” These standards are:
(1) The training is similar to what would be given in an educational environment.
(2)  The training is for the benefit of the intern.
(3) The intern does not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation.
(4) The employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
(5) The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
(6) The employer and the intern understand that it is an unpaid position.
There are some tips to hiring interns. First of all, it is always safe to pay them. If an employer has resources to pay the interns, it is advisable they provide them with monetary compensation. Secondly, if the interns can do it for a college credit, that is another way of hiring them without paying them monetary compensation. Thirdly, if an employer wants to hire employees under 20 years of age, they may pay a lower wage for 90 calendar days after they are first employed. During this 90-day period, any wage rate above $4.25 may be paid to eligible workers. Lastly, an employer can make the terms precise and clear that they are interns.
3 Common Questions to Unemployment Compensation
• When is an employee entitled to benefits?
• What are my obligations as an employer?
• How does an employee’s receipt of unemployment benefits impact me?
10 Common Employer Questions
(1) Am I required to provide vacation time?  Paid?
(2) Am I required to pay unused vacation time at the end of employment?
(3) How much notice do I need to provide before termination?
(4) Do I have to pay severance to a terminated employee?
(5) How should I terminate an employee?
(6) May I tell an employee what she can/cannot say about my firm on social media?
(7) Do I need an employee handbook?
(8)  Do I need to provide verbal or written warnings before termination?
(9)  When is it okay to dock an employee’s pay?
(10) Do I need a business license?