Handling off-premise work under the new overtime regs

time for break

With overtime pay likely to become a reality for some salaried restaurant employees after Dec. 1, restaurants are rethinking what they expect managers to do off-site as part of their responsibilities. Answering email or scheduling shifts at home didn’t matter when the employees were exempted from overtime if they earned more than $23,660 per year. But with that threshold more than doubling on Dec. 1 to $47,476, a half hour spent here and there on administrative tasks could push a salaried manager over the 40-hours-per-week threshold and entitle him or her to overtime. And how does the company even know if someone’s telling the truth about what they do when they’re not in the restaurant?

In response, restaurants are rethinking what they’ll allow managers to do off-premise, and how they’ll record that time, according to new research from People Report, a TDn2K company.

Currently, only 8% of restaurant companies forbid managers to handle administrative duties at home, People Report found in a survey of chain executives. When the new overtime threshold of $47,476 takes effect on Dec. 1, half of restaurant companies will require that all restaurant-related management work be done in the restaurant, People Report discovered.

An additional 24% will set a time limit on how many hours salaried managers can work outside of the office on administrative tasks. Only 22% said they intend to let managers work however many hours they want outside of the restaurant.

The research suggests that restaurants might take a much more hard-nosed approach to tallying the hours a manager spends on work-related matters while not in the restaurant. Currently, 79% of respondents told People Report that they expect the salaried employees to log those off-premise hours on an honor system, and 10% require no reporting at all. 


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