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
XpertHR offers various tools and resources to assist an employer in managing employees who are breastfeeding.
Updated to reflect a US Department of Labor (DOL) opinion letter concerning overnight travel.
The US Department of Labor opined about how to ascertain travel time by employees without regular working hours, whether frequent rest breaks required by a "serious health condition" are compensable, and which types of lump-sum payments are "earnings" subject to garnishment limits.
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 expanded protections for breastfeeding employees in New Jersey, effective January 8, 2018.
Updated to reflect amendments to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination regarding breastfeeding employees, 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.
HR guidance on complying with the FLSA hours worked requirements.