US DOL Clarifies the Meaning of Compensable Time Under The FLSA

Gordon Law Group

In an opinion letter dated May 15, 2008, the United States Department of Labor clarified its regulations regarding compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the DOL:

  1. An employee who fails to take a mandated meal break or reports before or after her scheduled shift, but does not work any overtime hours, must be paid at least the minimum wage for all compensable hours, including the time worked because a missed meal period or prior to/after a scheduled shift.
  2. The time worked because of a missed meal period or time worked due to reporting before or leaving after a scheduled shift, is compensable time for purposes of calculating overtime compensation. As such the employee must be paid for all hours worked at the agreed upon rate plus the overtime premium for all overtime hours (those worked over 40 in a workweek).
  3. It is the duty of management to ensure work is not performed if it does not want it to be performed. The mere promulgation of a rule against such work is not enough.
  4. If an employer receives premium pay for working in excess of specified daily or weekly hours, the premium pay is excludable from the regular rate and may be credited toward statutory overtime payments.
  5. It is acceptable to record and compute time to the nearest 5 minutes, as long as the rounding off of time is not used in such a manner that will result, over a period of time, in a failure to compensate employees for all time worked.

If you believe that your employer is not paying you for all compensable time, give us a call.

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