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Business news solutions items — Sept. 15

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REAL ESTATE

First-time homebuyer tips

Opportunities and challenges lie ahead for new home shoppers — particularly first-time homebuyers. It’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about buyer basics, especially those related to credit and mortgage terms. A wide variety of websites offer advice for first-time homebuyers. Here’s a sampling:

• Bankrate.com: Contains five steps to buying a home for the first time. Site: www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/5-tips-for-first-time-home-buyers-1.aspx.

• Investopedia: Explores the first-time home buying process and post-purchase considerations. Site: www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/first-time-homebuyer-guide.asp.

• National Association of Realtors: Offers an array of insights through 10 basic steps to home ownership. Site: www.realtor.com/home-finance/buyers-basics/.

• RealEstateABC.com: Discusses key considerations for first-time homebuyers. Site: www.realestateabc.com/insights/first-time-home-buyers.htm.

• U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Serves up 100 questions and answers related to buying a new home. Site: www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/buying/buyhm.cfm.

— By Chuck Myers

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

COMPUTERS

Issue with Norton security

Q: I’m running Norton Internet Security, Version 20.3.1.22. I also installed AntiMalware MalwareBytes. However, Norton requested that it be removed. Do you think this is a legitimate request? Why can’t I also have AntiMalware MalwareBytes resident on my system?

A: That is a known issue with Norton. It is probably objecting to a registry entry made by MalwareBytes that checks to see which version of the software you’re running at boot-up. You can go into Norton Internet Security and exclude MalwareBytes if you want to keep it off the Norton reports.

— By John Torro,
St. Petersburg Times

WORKPLACE

Managers and overtime

Q: I am a store manager for a major retailer. During the interview for the job, I learned at the very end that I would have to work at least 44 hours a week without earning overtime. While I was not happy about that prospect, I accepted the job because I knew that employers, by law, didn’t have to pay managers time and a half when they worked more than 40 hours a week. My question concerns how the hours appear on my pay stub. I am paid twice a month and my hours are listed: “regular pay: 80 hours; overtime pay: eight.” My salary is listed for the 80 hours but no dollar amount follows the overtime designation. Still, since the eight extra hours are clearly listed on my pay stub, shouldn’t I receive the overtime pay for them?

A: If you truly fall into the management category, your company doesn’t have to be as rigorous with record keeping for you as it must be for hourly, or nonexempt employees. Those workers have to be paid for all the time they work and must earn overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week. On the other hand, as a manager, or an exempt employee, you could work 20 extra hours a week and your company wouldn’t have to pay you for them. So the hours recorded have less significance. “Bona fide exempt managers need not have their total hours worked [each workday and workweek] nor overtime hours recorded,” said Irv Miljoner, who heads the Long Island, N.Y., office of the U.S. Labor Department. Managers fall into the executive category and are exempt from overtime and even minimum wage. To preserve those exemptions, companies have to pay the exempt employees at least $455 a week and must guarantee that salary, unless those workers miss a full day of work for personal reasons.

— Carrie Mason-Draffen, Newsday


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