The Fair Labor Standards Act / FLSA Law
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and most state wage laws define what time is “work” that must be paid by the employer. Generally, an employer must pay an employee for all time considered to be “work” and all “work” time counts towards hours worked towards overtime.
The FLSA defines the term “employ” to include the words “suffer or permit to work.” Suffer or permit to work means that if an employer requires or allows employees to work, the time spent is generally hours worked. If the hours are considered to be work, then they must be paid by the employer to the employee. Thus, time spent doing work not requested by the employer, but still allowed, is generally hours worked, since the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employees are continuing to work and the employer is benefiting from the work being done. This time is often referred to as “working off the clock.”
Werman Salas P.C. can help recover wages for unpaid work time. There are many situations that might lead to an employee not getting paid for work time, including:
- Delivery drivers load a truck, drive to the job site, and then unload the truck. Sometimes, an employer does not begin to pay for the work time until the truck arrives at its destination, so the worker is not paid for the time it took to actually load the truck or to travel to the job site. This is illegal.
- In an office setting or call-center, many time clocks are on computer workstations. If an employee has to turn on the computer and wait for the software to load before clocking in, he or she is not being paid for work time. This often happens in call centers and may be illegal.
Unpaid work time is a serious problem. Examples of situations where unpaid work time include time that may or may not be considered hours worked under the FLSA include: