Employer and Employee Relations Essay

Running head: EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE REGULATIONS Employer and Employee Relations Jeffrey Cox, Alicia Hill, Theresa Kirkwood, Lisa Layne, Christopher Mead, & Matthew Sanders University of Phoenix Online MGT/434 Jennifer Schneider March 15, 2010 Employer and Employee Relations Employers face many challenges within the workplace but federal laws and regulatory agencies exist to ensure that employers’ are correctly operating under the current laws and guidelines to protect employees’ from unfair or discriminatory actions. The understanding of federal and local laws is critical for both parties to determine their rights and responsibilities.

The employer must be able to identify if an employees’ status as employee or independent contractor is correct for tax and benefit purposes; in addition to exemption status on overtime compensation and employment at will laws. Team B will address these issues and how they pertain to the public school system. Employee versus Contractor The public school district must correctly determine if an individual is an employee or considered an independent contractor because the law requires that an employer withhold and pay: federal and state taxes; social security and Medicare taxes; and unemployment tax from the employees’ pay check.

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Employees’ will receive benefits that the company offers. Independent contractors’ are responsible for paying the necessary government entities and do not qualify for company benefits. The IRS 20-factor analysis can be used to determine which status an individual meets by identifying if the employer: mandates the hours worked; provides all the tools or materials; requires the individual file mandatory reports to the organization; pays travel expenses; and requires continual supervision.

The involvement and responsibility of the employer to control the individuals’ work makes that individual an employee. The independent contractor works on his or her own terms and responsibility. The IRS imposes strict penalties when an individual has been classified under the wrong status. A contract should exist between an organization and independent contractor specifying: pay, work, employee status, dispute resolution process, notice of laws that pertain to an independent contractor, and inclusions.

Exempt versus Non-Exempt The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping and child labor standards requirements for both employers and employees covered by the Act. When under federal law, it pre-empts state wages and hourly requirements, unless the states guidelines are more beneficial to the employee. Employees will be covered by FLSA when work has been performed in the United States or a Possession or Territory of the United States. The FLSA specifies that non-exempt employees must be paid at least the current federal minimum wage rate $7. 5 per hour for the first 40 hours worked in a work week (usually seven consecutive 24-hour periods). The employee must receive an overtime rate of at least time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked more than 40 in a workweek. The CCSD adds something known as Compensatory time. Compensatory time also known as Comp time is paid time off. Compensatory Time is also paid at time and a half but should be taken within 32 hours. The employee must agree to be paid Comp time versus overtime prior to performing the extra work.

Generally, a non-exempt employees’ work is routine with set standards and rules depending on the individual’s job duties. The biggest problem most employers have with nonexempt employees’ is miscalculating how much overtime is owed; for example, non-exempt positions may include: bank tellers, clerical, hourly, and paraprofessional, bookkeepers, and shipping/receiving clerks. Exempt employees must receive a full salary for any work week where work has been performed. Employers’ will not required to pay overtime to any employee who is exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions.

The following are the most common white collar exemptions: administrative, executive, principals’, managers’, supervisors’, teachers’, professional employees’, computer professionals’, and outside sales employees’. Overtime mistakes occur when the employer misclassifies a non-exempt employee as exempt (Kaufman, 2007). Employment at Will Employment-at-will is an employment relationship whereas; no contract obligations are in effect regarding a continued relationship between the employer and the employee.

Either party may terminate the employment relationship at any time as long it is within the law; for example, termination for discriminatory purposes race, gender, religion, national origin, age, or disability. The at-will doctrines vary from state to state because each state is free to make the laws that govern their at-will doctrines. The exceptions that exist deal with the termination of an employee for any legal reason if the reason falls within an exception to the at-will doctrine; for example, the employee can file a claim for wrongful termination and may receive damages or a reinstatement.

A few other exceptions include a breach of good faith and fair dealings by an employer, this breach would be a violation of public policy (Bennett-Alexander and Hartman, 2007). All states enforce at will employment to some degree but employers usually ask employees to sign an agreement or contract to enforce the terms of at will employment to avoid a lawsuit. A signed contract or agreement ensures that an employee understands employment is indefinite and voluntary. The Cobb County School District (CCSD) extends contracts to their teachers’, principals’ and other employees’.

The CCSD’s employee contract states that an employee contract can only receive a suspension or termination for the following reasons: incompetency; insubordination; willfully neglecting duties; immortality; encouraging, inciting or counseling students to violate any valid state law, municipal ordinance, or policy or rule of the local board of education; cancel programs or to reduce staff because decreased student enrollment; failure to maintain and secure necessary educational training; and any other sufficient cause.

The policy manual, employee handbook and similar documents may be used as an implied contract between the employer and the employee. The sufficient cause reference is an example, of at-will employment and addressed by most employer and employee contracts. The Relationship The employer-employee relations involve many factors: diversity, ethics, compensation, status, and legal requirements. The failure to recognize and ollow the current laws can be costly to any organization with lawsuits, fines, and penalties. Team B has identified what qualifies an individual to meet employee or independent contractor status; in addition to, understanding employee exemptions’, and the meaning of employment at will. References Bennett-Alexander, D. D & Hartman, L. P. (2007). Employment Law for Business, 5th ed. The Regulation of the Employment Relationship, Ch. 1, p. 25-28.

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Boston, MA Internal Revenue Service. (n. d. ). Businesses. Retrieved from http://www. iris. gov/busineses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00. html Kaufman Chamberlain (2007). Coverage under the FLSA. Retrieved on March 13, 2010 from: http://www. flsa. com/coverage. html State of Georgia. (2003). Georgia General Assembly Annotated Code. Retrieved March 10, 2010 from http://www. legis. state. ga. us/legis/2003_04/gacode/20-2-940. html