Overview: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires 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: Many lawsuits have been filed by employees claiming the activities they perform before and after a shift (known as preliminary and postlminary activities) are compensable working time.
Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor
New Jersey has enacted a law to protect breastfeeding mothers from discrimination at work that goes beyond federal protections. However, the law permits an exception if an employer can show that providing an accommodation would pose an undue hardship.
Updated to reflect amendments to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination regarding breastfeeding employees, effective January 8, 2018.
Updated to reflect expanded protections for breastfeeding employees in New Jersey, effective January 8, 2018.
Updated to reflect a San Francisco law regarding lactation accommodation, effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect proposed rules that would expand show-up time / reporting time requirements.
San Francisco employers seeking to show their compliance with a San Francisco law requiring employers to provide unpaid break time and a lactation location for employees to express breast milk, should include this model policy statement in their handbook.
Use this workflow to determine whether the time that a nonexempt employee spends traveling counts as "hours worked" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Use this workflow to determine whether the time that a nonexempt employee spends waiting, on call, on a meal break or on a rest break counts as "hours worked" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Use this workflow to determine whether the time that a nonexempt employee spends attending training or meetings counts as "hours worked" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
HR guidance on complying with the FLSA hours worked requirements.