If your company is classified as a joint employer with one or more other companies, you may be liable for overtime pay even if you carefully avoid workweeks that exceed 40 hours of work. Why? Because the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) states that you and your fellow joint employers share responsibility for compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
￼The WHD fleshed out the details in a recent opinion letter (Administrator's Interpretation, No. 2016-1). According to this letter, a contract such as an agreement between you and a staffing company doesn't necessarily determine who the employer actually is. You can contractually delegate a lot of responsibility to a staffing company, including supervision, and still be considered joint employers. That determination, says the WHD, is based on "the economic realities of the working relationship."