President Obama's signature recently put the finishing touch on a delay of previously-scheduled increases in the minimum wage for American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Why should we care about this quiet action affecting these far-off places? Because it highlights the impact that boosting a minimum wage has in the longer term.
Latest reports suggest that the already-anemic economy has stalled in recent months. And the hard times seem to be fueling a continued wave of lawsuits by current and former employees over issues like minimum wages and overtime. A number of these lawsuits seek to hold certain individuals personally responsible for claims for unpaid wages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Tucked away in a recent U.S. Labor Department e-newsletter was the announcement of a new time-tracking document that the Wage and Hour Division urges workers to maintain separately from the employer's official records.
More than ever, retailers are being squeezed between rising costs (including labor expense) and sagging revenue. What if there was a lawful way to compensate retail employees that gives them a stake in working to increase sales while at the same time eliminating the need to pay overtime? There is such an alternative, but many employers are overlooking it.