Repeal of Overtime Regulations Provides New Opportunity for U.S. Corporations

Sep 17, 2004, 01:00 ET from Circadian Technologies, Inc.

    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: )
     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
      Alex Kerin, Ph.D.
      (781) 676-6918

SOURCE Circadian Technologies, Inc.