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
Employees of the uniform services provider had alleged that the company's policy of rounding their punch-in and punch-out times to the nearest 15 minutes, combined with its strict attendance policy in which employees are disciplined for punching in more than five minutes late, resulted in employees being underpaid by 30 to 40 minutes per pay period.
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.
This Worked Example illustrates how to apply Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules to determine how many hours are worked by a nonexempt employee who travels out of town on an overnight business trip.
It can be difficult to determine whether an employee must be paid for time spent traveling, whether the travel is for a business trip, a commute to work or to visit customers during the course of the workday. This Legal Insight addresses travel time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in an effort to help employers remain compliant and avoid an employee lawsuit or an investigation from the US Department of Labor (DOL).
XpertHR has added a Legal Insight, a Worked Example, a Task and two FAQs to help employers comply with the travel time requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Recent reports of employee misconduct at annual conferences have led to negative media reports citing employer mismanagement, compliance issues and ethics quandaries. Employers sponsoring or participating in regional and national conferences in the coming months should ensure that internal travel, attendance, ethics and discipline policies address employer concerns and further business goals.
The charts provide state-by-state information on breastfeeding breaks and meal and rest breaks, including details about which employees are eligible for breaks, any exemptions that are available, the duration of the breaks, the statutory or regulatory basis for the requirements, and more
HR guidance on complying with the FLSA hours worked requirements.