Be Careful with Overtime

With several gins being audited by the Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor this Fall, a friendly reminder has been given to many gins. As these audits have been taking place, the inspectors have noted that many gins ran into the new calendar year last season. For some classes of employees that could affect their ability to use the full 14 weeks of partial overtime exemption we have for the rest of 2013. Those few gins that got started on time this season may also need to watch for the 52 consecutive week limit. The other thing to be careful of with overtime is the distinction between daily and weekly overtime.

Cotton gins have two similar but distinct partial overtime exemptions. The exemptions apply to two groups of employees outlined in the law. These two groups are in Code sections 13(h) and 13(i) of the Fair Labor Standards act. The 13(h) employees are those that we refer to as “necessary and incidental” to the ginning process. Examples of these employees are truck drivers, scale clerks, office personnel, etc. The 13(i) employees are those that are “exclusively engaged” in the ginning process. These include ginners, gin helpers, yard hands etc. These two groups both have partial overtime exemptions to 48 hours (weekly overtime) for 14 weeks per year. The difference between them is that the 13(h) exemption counts the 14 weeks per calendar year and the 13(i)  exemption counts 14 weeks in a 52 consecutive week period.

This is typically not a problem because most seasons don’t run into new calendar years but there are occasions where we have run into issues. A typical problematic situation is when a late or long season runs into the new calendar year and the next season is early for some reason. This could cause issues with both groups of employees. Another is when two years run long and you may end up running out of 52 consecutive weeks. Again, most of the time it’s not an issue but it was brought up in the audits and we wanted to make sure you were keeping an eye on it in your operation.

Another issue that has come up during these audits is the distinction between daily and weekly overtime. Lets clear one thing up first. No overtime is due until the employee works over 40 hrs. That being stated, once the employee exceeds 40 hrs in a week, he/she is due the greater of daily or weekly overtime. Daily overtime is calculated as hours over 10 per day and weekly is calculated (during exempt weeks) as over 48. There could be times when you have an employee that has a larger daily overtime than weekly overtime. This can be a tricky calculation. Please download the document below. It shows a number of examples of daily and weekly overtime calculations to give you a better understanding of the differences. The use of these equations could help you plan hours for your employees during slow weeks and weeks toward the end of the season when you may not be running full shifts.

As always, don’t hesitate to call or email if you have questions.

Ginners Labor Guide 10-08 final_