Julie Pugh, Esq., SHRM-CP, PHR

Julie Pugh, Esq., SHRM-CP, PHR

Organization - Graydon, Head & Ritchey LLP


Wage And Hour Laws - Another Trip Around The Sun

Learning Objectives

1. Updates on the status of wage and hour laws;

2. Understand the DOL's Wage and Hour Audit Roadmap; and,

3. Learn how to apply the wage and hour knowledge to your workplace.


In 2016, the FLSA made headline news ... repeatedly. Litigation ensured, and changes were derailed. Two years later, headlines are still talking about how employers classify and pay workers. From minimum wage to exempt classifications and from independent contractors to joint employment, this 200-level session will provide attendees with a roadmap of the most recent legal updates affecting compensation decisions. Once attendees have an understanding of the changes affecting your business, we will travel through the Department of Labor's wage and hour audit process. A wage and hour audit can hit a business at any time and without prior notice. Though wage-hour audits are typically the result of an employee complaint, the DOL can perform a random audit.

This session will review common violations in the following categories:

  • Failure to properly pay and monitor work hours of employees under the age of 18;
  • Failure to maintain records and overtime payment to non-exempt employees;
  • Failure to properly classify workers as employees;
  • Proper calculation of the regular rate of pay and overtime rate of pay;
  • Salaried employees improperly classified as exempt from overtime;
  • Unlawful wage deductions for items against employees;
  • Violations of the tip pooling provisions of the FLSA.

Employers should prepare for the auditor to interview employees from several job categories, particularly those classified as exempt from overtime. Unlike many other government reviews, neither a supervisor nor the employer's legal counsel may participate in individual employee interviews.

Usually, a closing conference is also conducted to inform the employer of any violations. Auditors are governed by the specific enforcement statutes, and are given a broad range of requesting authority. Backpay, penalties, fines, and even criminal exposure result from a failure to follow the law.


Julie Pugh spent her childhood on the family farm outside Kokomo, IN. It was a working farm where they raised corn, soybeans and tomatoes. Every other week, they'd load a tractor-trailer with hogs to take to market. She was the first girl born on her father's side in 21 years to the day. She had nine cousins who were boys her age and older. She played football in the mud and went to monster truck rallies with her father.

Her parents signed her up for every sport they could find, just to keep her occupied. Basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, track, volleyball, wakeboarding, waterskiing. She was nine when she learned to slalom. Through high school, she was never not engaged in a sport. She was second in the state in tennis doubles her senior year. The same year playing basketball, she sustained multiple injuries, including sprained ankles, dislocated thumbs, a black eye, and minor concussions. She was not shy about going after the ball.

Julie has little patience for excuse makers. "People amaze me with the things they come up with in order to avoid accepting responsibility." She admires those who are somehow impaired but who rise above adversity and succeed. She believes we each have an obligation to make the most of whatever we have.

As a partner in the Firm's human resources client service department, she describes her work in this way: "It's about separating people with real adversity from people with bogus adversity seeking to be paid for something they didn't do. It's a continuum; a gray line that requires judgment calls. Our role is to advise business owners and managers how to deal with those people who become litigious when the adversity is maybe more illusionary than real."

Julie's two boys, Austin and Caleb, keep her running at home. "It's amazing, and sometimes frightening, to see your personal traits and attributes in the little body of your child. It reminds me to be my best self at all times possible." To that end, Julie has supported and volunteered with Cancer Family Care and serves as an Executive Committee Member of the local SHRM Chapter, the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association (GCHRA).

Her goal is to make her clients' work environments places where their employees want to work. "My job is to make your job easier - whether you're a client, a colleague or whomever. If you're a client, I'll ask for answers to tough questions, which can be unpleasant - but in the long run, I'll solve the problem, which makes the client's job easier."