Remember FLSA when navigating coronavirus

Q&A with Jake Crawford

published in The Oklahoman | March 13, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus has created significant challenges for employers and their employees.  For example, some workers are absent from the workplace due to exposure, infection, or suspended business operations.  In other instances, workers’ hours are being reduced due to a downturn in business, work schedules are being altered, and employees are being allowed to work remotely from home.  Whatever the circumstance, employers need to be careful not to violate federal wage and hour laws when calculating compensation for both exempt and non-exempt employees.

In a business Q&A published in The Oklahoman just a day after the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, labor and employment lawyer Jake Crawford discussed how the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to non-exempt employees who are absent from work due to the coronavirus as well as the conditions under which an employer may legally deduct pay from exempt employees for absences.  He also addressed the issue of whether companies have to pay exempt employees’ entire salaries when their operations have been suspended, as well as whether employers are allowed to prospectively reduce an exempt employee’s predetermined salary amount during an extended period of economic slowdown.