Overview: 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
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.
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.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to hours worked.
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California employers that have employees who perform work outside should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
California employers seeking to encourage and demonstrate compliance with the California law requiring employers to provide unpaid break time and reasonable locations for employees to express breast milk should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook .
California employers that must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and seek to address the circumstances under which employees classified by the employer as nonexempt will receive the overtime premium should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
HR guidance on complying with the FLSA hours worked requirements.