1 U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (Revised July 2008) the Fair Labor Sta ndards Act (FLSA) Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under e under the FLSA This fact sheet provides general information c oncerning what constitutes compensable tim . minimum wage The Act requires that employees must receive at least the and may not be employed for more than 40 hours in a week without receiving at least one and one-half times their regul ar rates of pay for the hours. The amount employees should receive cannot be determined without knowing the number of overtime hours worked. Definition of "Employ" By statutory definition the term "emp loy" includes "to suffer or permit to work." The workweek ordinarily includes all time during which an employee is necessarily required to be on the employer's premises, on duty or y", in general, means the period be at a prescribed work place. "Workda tween the time on any particular day when such employee commences his/her "principal activit y" and the time on that day at which he/she ceases erefore be longer than the employee's scheduled shift, such principal activity or activities. The workday may th hours, tour of duty, or production line time. Application of Principles Employees "Suffered or Permitted" to work: Work not requested but suffered or permitted to be performed is work time that mu st be paid for by the employer. For example, an employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the shift to finish an assigned task or to correct errors. The reason is immaterial. The hours are work time and are compensable. is hours worked under the Act depends upon the particular Waiting Time: Whether waiting time y show that the employee was engaged to wait (which is work time) or circumstances. Generally, the facts ma engaged (which is not work time). For example, a the facts may show that the employee was waiting to be secretary who reads a book while waiting for dictation or a fireman who plays checkers while waiting for an alarm is working during such peri have been "engaged to wait." ods of inactivity. These employees in on call on the employer's premises is working while On-Call Time: An employee who is required to rema "on call." An employee who is required to remain on call at home, or who is allowe d to leave a message where he/she can be reached, is not working (in most cases) while on call. Additional constraints on the employee's freedom could require this time to be compensated. Rest and Meal Periods: minutes or less, are common in industry Rest periods of short duration, usually 20 ote the efficiency of the employee) and are cust omarily paid for as working time. These short periods (and prom of authorized work break s need not be counted as must be counted as hours worked. Unauthorized extensions hours worked when the employer has expressly and una mbiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a sp ecific length of time, that any extension of the break is contrary to the employer's rules, and any extension of the break will be punished. Bona fide meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) generally need not be compensated as work time. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular m eals. The employee is not relieved if he/she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. FS 22

2 Sleeping Time and Certain Other Activities: An employee who is required to be on duty for less than 24 hours is working even though he/she is permitted to sleep or engage in other personal activities when not busy. An employee required to be on duty for 24 hours or more may agree with the employer to exclude from hours worked bona fide regularly scheduled sleeping periods of not more than 8 hours, provided adequate sleeping facilities are furnished by the employer and the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted night's sleep. No reduction is permitted unless at le ast 5 hours of sleep is taken. Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs: Attendan ce at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as worki ng time only if four criteria are met, namely: it is outside normal hours, it r work is concurrently performed. is voluntary, not job related, and no othe Travel Time: The principles which apply in determ ining whet her time spent in travel is compensable time depends upon the kind of travel involved. Home to Work Travel: An e mployee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her nary home to work travel, which is not work time. home at the end of the workday is engaged in ordi Home to Work on a Special One Day Assignment in Another City: A n employee who regularly works at a fixed location in one city is given a special one day assignment in another city and returns home the same day. other city is work time, except that the employer may The time spent in traveling to and returning from the lly spend commuting to the regular work site. deduct/not count that time the employee would norma Travel That is All in a Day's Work: Time spent by an employee in travel as part of their principal activity, job site to j ob site during the workday, is work time and must be counted as hours worked. such as travel from Travel Away from Home Community: Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from ts across the employee's workday. The home is clearly work time when it cu days during normal worki time is not only hours worked on regular working ng hours but also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. As an enforcement policy the Division will not consider as work time that time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passe nger on an airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile. Typical Problems as compensable hours. For Problems arise when employers fail to recognize and count certain hours worked ile eating lunch and regularly answers the telephone and example, an employee who remains at his/her desk wh refers callers is working. This time must be coun ted and paid as compensable hours worked because the employee has not been completely relieved from duty. Where to Obtain Additional Information For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866- 4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243). This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations. 1-866-4-USWAGE U.S. Department of Labor kins Building TTY: 1-866-487-9243 Frances Per 200 Constitution Avenue, NW Contact Us Washington, DC 20210

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