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
Effective January 1, 2019, California's breastfeeding breaks law will be amended to prohibit employers from using bathrooms as a location for employees to express milk in private.
Updated to reflect an amendment to the breastfeeding breaks law, effective August 21, 2018.
Updated to reflect amendments to the breastfeeding breaks law in Illinois, effective August 21, 2018.
Effective August 21, 2018, employers covered by the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act are prohibited from reducing employees' compensation for time used to express milk or nurse a baby.
Updated to reflect a forthcoming amendment regarding meal breaks in California.
Updated to reflect a forthcoming amendment to the meal breaks law.
HR guidance on complying with the FLSA hours worked requirements.