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

  • Meal Breaks for Minors Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

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

  • Lactation Accommodation Handbook Statement: Washington

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Washington employers wishing to include an "infant-friendly" designation on their promotional materials should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal And Rest Breaks Handbook Statement: Washington

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Washington employers seeking to encourage and demonstrate compliance with the state's meal and rest break requirements should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • 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.

  • Lactation Accommodation Handbook Statement: Maine

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maine employers seeking to show compliance with Maine law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal Breaks Handbook Statement: Maine

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maine employers seeking to inform employees and their supervisors about legally required meal breaks and to demonstrate compliance with the law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Multistate Employer

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Multistate employers face the challenge of complying with not only federal laws, but also differing state and local laws. This section highlights some of the states' differences in terms of preemployment testing and background checks, noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, and discrimination, pay and leave rules.

  • Lactation Accommodation Handbook Statement: Hawaii

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Hawaii employers seeking to encourage and demonstrate compliance with Hawaii law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal Breaks for Minors 14 and 15 Years Old Handbook Statement: Hawaii

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Hawaii employers that employ minor employees who are 14 or 15 years of age should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal Breaks Handbook Statement: Illinois

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Illinois employers seeking to encourage and demonstrate compliance with the state's meal break requirements should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.