What Time Should I be Paid for?
The FLSA, which is overseen by the Wage and Hour Division of the federal Department of Labor, is the body of laws that sets standards for employers in the United States. The FLSA mandates that non-exempt full- and part-time employees must be paid 150% of their regular hourly wage for every hour worked that exceeds a 40-hour work week. This applies to the vast majority of American employees. A work week does not need to begin or end on a specific day: it is simply defined as seven consecutive periods of 24 hours. It is very important that employees in the United States understand the different “types” of work hours for which they must be compensated so that they may be certain they are earning the full pay to which they are entitled.
“Suffered or Permitted”
According to the FLSA, an employee is entitled to overtime pay for work that is “suffered or permitted” to be performed, not just for the work they are specifically requested to perform. This means that even if an employee voluntarily works more than 40 hours in a given work week, perhaps to complete an assignment or make corrections, he or she must be granted overtime pay.
Some employees may be on-call, which means that they must be available to work at short notice if the need arises. If an employee must stay on the employer’s premises or is unable to use on-call time for his or her own purposes, on-call hours must count as part of his or her work week. However, on-call hours are not normally compensable if the employee is allowed to spend on-call time at home or is able to use a device such as a pager which allows him or her to come and go freely and still remain reachable.
Time Spent Waiting
If an employee spends work hours waiting, he or she may be able to count this time towards weekly hours worked. If an employee’s time is still controlled by his or her employer, or if he or she cannot use waiting time for his or her own purposes, that time must be logged as part of the work week.
Time Spent on Travel
If an employee spends time traveling from one job site to another, that time must be counted as part of the work week. If an employee travels for work on a weekend day or another day not normally part of his or her work week, he or she must be paid for that time if the travel falls within his or her regular working hours.
Time Spent Sleeping
If employee is on duty for fewer than 24 hours, he or she must be paid for time spent sleeping or on personal activities when he or she is not busy with work duties. If an employee is on duty for 24 hours or more, he or she may come to an agreement so that the employer does not have to pay him or her for up to 8 hours spent sleeping. However, for this to be legal, the employer must provide adequate sleeping facilities and the employee must be granted an uninterrupted period of at least 5 hours of sleep.
Payment for Meals and Break Time
If an employee is required to perform work duties while he or she eats, that time must be reflected as hours worked. Likewise, short rest periods of 5 to 20 minutes also count towards hours worked. If, however, an employee is relieved of all work duties while he or she eats, he or she is not entitled to payment for that time.
Contact an Experienced Overtime Pay Lawsuit Attorney
The overtime wage and employment lawyers at Phillips Dayes Law Firm have been defending the rights of cheated workers for years, and we are very familiar with the deceptive tactics some employers use to illegally deny their employees overtime pay. With offices in Arizona, Utah, and California, we are well positioned to assist victims with wage and overtime pay lawsuits throughout the United States. If you would like to learn more about employees’ rights in FLSA or overtime pay lawsuits, contact a national employment lawyer today to schedule your free legal consultation.