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
Updated to reflect information on a California Court of Appeal ruling concerning show-up time / reporting time.
Maryland employers that have two or more full-time equivalent employees working in the City of Baltimore seeking to educate their employees about the availability of unpaid lactation break time and accommodation and to demonstrate compliance with the Baltimore Lactation Accommodation Ordinance should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook .
New York employers that have four or more employees and have employees working in New York City that seek to educate their employees about the availability of unpaid lactation break time and a proper lactation room and to demonstrate compliance with New York State and New York City law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook .
Updated guidance to reflect amendments to the overtime requirements for agricultural employees, effective January 1, 2019.
Updated to reflect the forthcoming Baltimore lactation law.
Updated to reflect forthcoming breastfeeding break requirements in Baltimore, Maryland.
Updated to reflect the forthcoming Philadelphia Fair Workweek Ordinance.
Updated guidance to reflect amendments relating to the lactation accommodation law, effective January 1, 2019.
Updated guidance to reflect amendment allowing meal break exceptions for certain commercial drivers, effective January 1, 2019.
HR guidance on complying with the FLSA hours worked requirements.