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Compliance 101: Wage & Hour Risk

Reese Darragh | November 29, 2011

Yes, yes—your company might some day be caught up in a sweeping regulatory enforcement case, some nine-figure settlement over the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or off-label marketing of drugs or lord knows what. It happens.

But so do the basic, block-and-tackle compliance threats far more likely to leave a company fighting a rear-guard action against regulators and plaintiff lawyers. Like, say, wage-and-hour violations.

One recent case highlighted by the Labor Department underlines the risk businesses face. The company in question was Texas-based Hilton Reservations and Customer Care, which operates the call center for Hilton Hotels worldwide. According to an investigation from the Labor Department, employees weren't compensated for time spent starting their computers, opening software programs to assist customers, and reading important e-mails before beginning their shift. That led to incorrect calculations of employees' overtime pay—and ultimately to a judgment that... To get the full story, subscribe now.