Q. A salaried, exempt employee who recently returned from a week of unpaid FMLA leave claims that he is entitled to be paid his full salary for entire week because he responded to a number of work-related e-mails and telephone calls while he was out. Do we have to pay?
Articles Discussing Hours Worked Under The FLSA.
Regular readers may have noticed a decline in the frequency of our updates around the end of the year. That’s because, in addition to the usual holiday and year-end craziness, my wife and I welcomed a new baby on the day after Christmas. As I get back into the swing of work and blogging, I thought this might be a perfect time to review the federal requirements regarding break time for nursing mothers.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a settlement with Hilton Reservations Worldwide, LLC, in which the company agreed to pay $715,507 in minimum wages and overtime pay to 2,645 current and former customer service employees in Texas, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The DOL determined after an audit that the company failed to pay workers for pre-shift activities such as booting up their computers, launching necessary programs, and reading work-related e-mails.
In this economy, we continue to see lay-offs and slow growth in hiring. As a result, more employees are being asked to take on additional responsibilities and assignments. These circumstances, coupled with the fact that some employers are properly re-classifying certain jobs as non-exempt, have led to an increase in work-related travel for non-exempt employees. For some employers, requiring non-exempt employees to travel is new territory. As a result, I thought it would be beneficial to provide some general guidance on hours worked for travel time purposes. The following general rules apply to non-exempt employees:
Our company provides remote access to e-mail for all employees, and some of our hourly employees carry iPhones and Blackberries with access to their work e-mail. Most non-exempt employees only work during regular business hours, but some will occasionally check and respond to e-mail after hours or on weekends. Do we need to pay employees for this time? If so, how do we track it?
The question of whether to pay employees for putting on protective gear has plagued employers for years. While the federal courts are divided over this issue, at least five Appellate Courts â€“ the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh and now the Tenth Circuits â€“ have held that personal protective equipment is included within the meaning of â€œclothesâ€ under Section 203(o) of the FLSA, and thus not compensable.