Your first step should be to get with an employment law attorney or other wage and hour/human resources specialist who can review your pay practices to determine whether you are in compliance with the law. The cost spent for a review and developing a compliance program could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run or perhaps even millions if you run a large company.
Making sure managers understand the rules is paramount. Managers can avoid costly mistakes and spot problems before they become too costly.
Think Exempt - Non-Exempt, Not Just Salary - Hourly
Too many employers pay employees a salary and then believe that relieves them from any obligation to pay overtime. Employees need to make sure those employees are properly classified as exempt (someone who is typically not paid overtime) or non-exempt (someone that is generally entitled to overtime).
Take Complaints on Wage Issues Seriously
You want to treat wage and hour complaints just as seriously as employment issues including harassment or discrimination. In fact, these wage and hour lawsuits could be more costly to your business.
Do Not Retaliate
Never, never, never retaliate against someone that makes a complaint for wage and hour issues.
Develop Strong Policies on Pay Practices and Employee Hours
Make sure employees work those hours assigned and do not work off-the-clock. Above all, properly document the number of hours worked because just like in baseball where a tie goes to the runner - if the employer has not documented the hours worked by the employee - the benefit of the doubt will go to the employee