Wage and Hour Audits

Overview

Claims involving employee pay and wage and hour laws continue to be among the largest risks for employers and can keep them up at night. Rest easy … we have you covered.

BakerHostetler’s attorneys have counseled hundreds of employers across the country on the complicated and often-changing federal, state and local regulations that govern wages, hours of work and pay practices. Our goal is to help our clients mitigate risk and avoid litigation that can cost millions of dollars, distract from business goals and cause reputational harm.

Performing comprehensive wage and hour audits and compliance reviews is among the core competencies of BakerHostetler’s Wage and Hour team. Our national team has conducted audits for employers of all sizes and in numerous industries concerning a variety of wage and hour issues. Our audits include a comprehensive review of relevant documentation related to employee pay, such as job descriptions, payroll records, time records, wage payment policies and leave policies, as well as on-site visits to observe operations and identify problematic practices on the ground. With every review, we work hand in hand with human resources personnel and management to gain a clear understanding of the client’s operations and manage risk in a manner consistent with operational needs and business goals.

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Our thorough audits include reviews of:

  • Exempt employee classifications.
  • Pay notices and statements.
  • Straight time, overtime and regular rate of pay calculations.
  • Timekeeping records and policies.
  • Meal and rest break policies and practices.
  • Independent contractor classifications.
  • The use of interns and temporary labor.
  • Pay equity.
  • Wage and hour risks during a merger, acquisition or other transaction.
  • The physical layouts at our clients’ facilities to determine whether there is risk of off-the-clock work or interrupted meal and rest breaks.
  • Communication practices and systems.
  • Travel time and travel/expense reimbursement policies.
  • Donning and doffing practices.
  • Uniform, tool and equipment pay practices.
  • Timekeeping systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Wage deduction policies and practices.
  • Termination notice and pay practices.
  • Wage and hour posters and record maintenance.
  • Paid time off requirements.

Select Experience

  • Completed comprehensive wage and hour audits for all associates of a large Ohio hospital and healthcare system to determine whether its employees were properly classified for overtime purposes. A recent audit for this client concerned recent changes in the overtime-exemption regulations. For this same client, we also completed an audit in response to changes in the overtime exemption rules and in response to a wage and hour investigation that we successfully defended.
  • Defended an overtime class action for another large healthcare system that provides an on-site clinic for a Big 3 automotive manufacturing plant in Ohio. We completed a wage and hour compliance audit as part of our representation after the class claims were defeated.
  • Currently defending an overtime collective and class action for a healthcare system’s protective service officers, with a compliance audit expected as the case proceeds.
  • Assisted numerous hospital and healthcare systems with wage and hour and overtime compliance issues.
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Experience

  • Completed comprehensive wage and hour audits for all associates of a large Ohio hospital and healthcare system to determine whether its employees were properly classified for overtime purposes. A recent audit for this client concerned recent changes in the overtime-exemption regulations. For this same client, we also completed an audit in response to changes in the overtime exemption rules and in response to a wage and hour investigation that we successfully defended.
  • Defended an overtime class action for another large healthcare system that provides an on-site clinic for a Big 3 automotive manufacturing plant in Ohio. We completed a wage and hour compliance audit as part of our representation after the class claims were defeated.
  • Currently defending an overtime collective and class action for a healthcare system’s protective service officers, with a compliance audit expected as the case proceeds.
  • Assisted numerous hospital and healthcare systems with wage and hour and overtime compliance issues.
  • For a nationwide property preservation company, conducted an audit of its independent contractor property inspectors, resulting in no adverse findings from the agency involved. All three independent contractor programs required updating as a result of the ABC Test adopted in California that makes it more difficult for independent contractors to remain contractors rather than being reclassified as employees.
  • Conducted wage and hour audits for several hospitality companies to ensure compliance with proper employment practices, reducing the likelihood of costly lawsuits brought under the California Labor Code and other federal, state and local laws. The audit process includes a thorough review of the classification processes for exempt and nonexempt employees, ensuring proper pay practices and procedures (particularly with overtime pay), assessing meal and rest break compliance, and assessing compliance with state and federal labor laws.
  • Performed a job classification audit for a national telecommunications company relating to pay practices and applicable Fair Labor Standards Act overtime pay exemptions for hundreds of positions.
  • Analyzed multiple roles for an international company operating in the oil and gas sector relating to proper independent contractor classification.
  • Performed a wage and hour audit for a national cable network to review all positions and their job duties to ensure the network was properly classifying its workforce; the audit included advice regarding specific exemptions applicable to the entertainment industry.
  • Conducted a nationwide wage and hour audit for a Fortune 50 company to analyze job duties and provide strategic solutions for position realignment and compliance.
  • Conducted comprehensive biannual wage and hour audits of all California facilities for an aerospace client to identify and eliminate any areas of noncompliance.
  • Conducted several wage and hour audits in the medical records industry in a number of states across the U.S. to identify and resolve potential violations of law before they are discovered by plaintiffs’ attorneys or government agencies.
  • Represented clients in federal and state Department of Labor investigations, and in successful negotiations with the Department of Labor, resulting in dismissal of claims and/or settlement of matters for no (or significantly lower) damages to the clients.
  • Successfully negotiated resolutions for New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act and Fair Workweek investigations conducted by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

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