LEXINGTON, Mass., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The recent debate and ultimate repeal of the Labor Department's regulations defining "white collar" overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) points to how complicated work hours and schedules, and in particular overtime, are for U.S. employers and employees. Overtime must be managed effectively by companies and employees in order to meet both employer and employee interests. This is especially the case in extended hours operations where employees typically work irregular schedules, including night and evening shifts. The regulations from the Labor Department, which went into effect on August 23rd, 2004 were revoked on September 9, 2004, less than three weeks after the required implementation date. The repeal was the result of months of intensive lobbying by unions and company trade associations and was the subject of much political debate. Overtime is a sensitive issue for employers and employees. Employers use overtime to avoid hiring permanent workers when business stability is uncertain or workflow is volatile. Employees like overtime to supplement income, to a point, and they never like to be forced to work overtime. Based on Circadian Technologies data published in its recently released report "Overtime in Extended Hours Operations; Benefits, Costs, Risk and Liabilities," the average overtime in extended hours operations ranges from a high of nearly 15% in the utility industry to a low of 10% in the transportation sector. (Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040917/NEF002 ) According to Circadian's Research Consultant Alex Kerin, Ph.D., the real issue however, is not the aggregate overtime worked by company employees, but the distribution of overtime. Based on Circadian's shiftworker database, 20% of the workers work 60% of the overtime. Dr. Kerin notes, "While moderate overtime may benefit both employer and employees, as workers become fatigued from too much overtime, they make mistakes. Drivers become less cautious and exhibit more erratic driving patterns and in manufacturing environments production suffers from low morale. Absenteeism increases leading to even more overtime and eventually to employee turnover." The repeal of the regulations gives U.S. employers and employees an opportunity to step back and revisit how they manage their overtime. In light of the expanding economy, many extended hour operations are now challenged with reworking or adjusting their shift schedules. Dr. Kerin is available to discuss with the media or with companies the findings of the overtime report and to provide suggestions for better managing overtime in extended hours operations. Circadian's solutions to tackling the unique challenges facing extended hours operations include looking at new ways to manage overtime, with a focus on reducing the costs, risks and liabilities of human factors inherent in extended hours operations. In addition, Circadian works with companies and their employees to create a more positive working environment for manager and employees alike. About Circadian Technologies, Inc. Circadian is the leading international research and consulting firm assisting companies with extended hours operations to improve profits by increasing productivity and reducing the increased costs, risks, and liabilities of human factors. Circadian's mission is to empower its clients to effectively use extended operations to compete in the global 24/7 economy. Extended hours operations encompass all work environments with irregular schedules, night and evening shifts, or extended hours, typically outside the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Since its incorporation by Dr. Martin Moore-Ede in 1983, more than half the Fortune 1000 has benefited by working with Circadian. For more information, visit http://www.circadian.com. Contact: Alex Kerin, Ph.D. (781) 676-6918 email@example.com
SOURCE Circadian Technologies, Inc.