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Pointers for employers during the holiday

Now that the holiday season has begun in earnest, there are a number of retailers who are pledging to keep their doors open for additional hours to take advantage of the extra sales that are likely to take place. After all, more people take their time during the holiday season; meaning that they don't just shop on Black Friday.

As an employer, it is normal to add staff members to deal with the crush of shoppers and to make sure that these additional revenue opportunities are not missed. However, it is critical to adhere to state and federal labor laws in doing so. This post will serve as brief reminder of an employer's responsibilities. 

First and foremost, employers must know that the Fair Labor Standards Act calls for a standard work week to be 40 hours. This means that any work performed outside of this standard should be compensated at time and a half. Additionally, California law calls for a standard workday to be eight hours. As such, any work performed in excess of eight hours during a particular day should be compensated at time and a half as well.

Further, employers and managers should be particularly mindful of asking (or requiring) workers to perform work "off the clock." Essentially, any activities performed in preparation for a person's shift, including taking inventory, cleaning stations and counting change boxes, should not done without proper compensation. The potential penalties for asking workers to perform work "off the clock" are far worse than the potential benefits.

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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