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

  • Lactation Accommodation Handbook Statement: Oklahoma

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oklahoma employers that wish to comply with Oklahoma's voluntary lactation accommodation provisions should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Work Schedules Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to provide an overview of their typical hours of operation, outline expectations regarding when employees report to work and establish employer discretion to modify the work schedule as needed to meet operational demands should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal and Rest Breaks Handbook Statement: Federal

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to establish expectations for meal periods and rest breaks and demonstrate compliance with applicable federal and/or state law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Timekeeping Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • On-Call Pay Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) seeking to establish terms and procedures for on-call time should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Time Off and Leaves of Absence Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to provide an overview of the paid and unpaid time off available to employees should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Lactation Accommodation Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal Breaks Handbook Statement: West Virginia

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    West Virginia employers seeking to educate employees about meal break requirements and inform supervisors about the need to provide meal breaks or opportunities to eat a meal while working should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal Breaks for Employees Under Age 16 Handbook Statement: West Virginia

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    West Virginia employers that employ minors under age 16 and seek to inform employees under age 16 and their supervisors about legally-required meal breaks should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Determine if an Activity Counts as Hours Worked Under the FLSA

    Type:
    Liveflo

    Use this workflow to determine whether a nonexempt employee's activity counts as hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).