HR Support on Complying with FLSA on Hours Worked

Editor's Note: What counts as working time? What doesn't?

Michael CardmanOverview: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations require employers to pay nonexempt employees at least the minimum wage for all hours worked. Usually, it's fairly simple to determine what counts as working hours. If an employee is at a desk filling out paperwork or on an assembly line manufacturing goods, then that time obviously counts as hours worked.

But there are many situations in which it is not quite so simple to figure out whether time counts as hours worked. What if an employee is taking a rest break, with her feet up on her desk? What if an employee is on call and must be ready to return to the office with little notice? What if an employee is traveling to a sales meeting in another city? What if an employee is attending a training session in the office? The answer: under the FLSA, it depends on the circumstances.

Trends: One of the most frequently litigated issues under the FLSA is whether activities that employees perform before and after a shift (known as preliminary and postlminary activities) are compensable. Meat- and poultry-processing companies are a frequent target of lawsuits alleging that employees should be paid for activities such as putting on protective gear before a shift, but these arguments could be extended to a variety of industries.

Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor

Latest items in Hours Worked

  • Hours Worked: Utah

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Updated to refine the scope of coverage to include only breastfeeding break laws that apply to private employers.

  • Breastfeeding Break Requirements by State

    Type:
    Quick Reference

    Updated to refine the scope of coverage to include only breastfeeding break laws that apply to private employers.

  • Hours Worked: Louisiana

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Updated to refine the scope of coverage to include only breastfeeding break laws that apply to private employers.

  • Podcast: Will Supreme Court FLSA Case Limit Class Actions?

    Date:
    November 24, 2015
    Type:
    Podcasts and Webinars

    The Supreme Court will soon decide a Fair Labor Standards Act case that could impact future employment class actions. This podcast features on-the-scene coverage, including what was on the justices' minds.

  • Hours Worked: California

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Updated to reflect implementing regulations for the San Francisco retail ordinances, effective March 1, 2016.

  • Meal and Rest Breaks for Minors Handbook Statement: Washington

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Washington employers that employ minor employees under age 18 and seek to inform the minor employees and their supervisors about legally required meal and rest breaks and to demonstrate compliance with Washington law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal and Rest Breaks Handbook Statement: California

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    California employers seeking to establish expectations for meal and rest breaks and to demonstrate compliance with applicable federal and California law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Hours Worked: Washington

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to hours worked.

  • Multistate Employer: Federal

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    This section helps HR professionals manage challenges that come with operating in multiple states, notably complying with differing state and key municipal laws, and addresses the pros and cons of having a centralized or decentralized HR department. Trends currently affecting multistate employers are identified, such as same-sex marriage laws and tracking various state leave laws, are discussed.

  • Date:
    June 14, 2015
    Type:
    Legal Timetable