Archives: Hours of Work

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Refinery Workers’ Pre-Shift Wait Time Not Compensable, Fifth Circuit Holds

Concluding that the unstructured time spent by the plaintiffs between arriving at the oil refinery and the beginning of their shifts was not “integral and indispensable” to their duties erecting scaffolds at the refinery, the Fifth Circuit held that this time was not compensable under the FLSA.  Bridges v. Empire Scaffold, LLC, 2017 U.S. App. … Continue Reading

New York Department of Labor Issues Emergency Minimum Wage Regulations Regarding Home Healthcare Attendants, Controverting Recent Appellate Court Rulings

Citing the need “to preserve the status quo, prevent the collapse of the home healthcare industry, and avoid institutionalizing patients who could be cared for at home,” the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) has issued emergency regulations to ensure consistency with longstanding opinion letters issued by the Department and to clarify that time spent … Continue Reading

Pump the Breaks: Employers Cannot Bypass Obligation to Compensate Employees for Short Rest Periods

Refusing to compensate employees for short breaks is prohibited by the FLSA, the Third Circuit has confirmed. Thus, an employer’s “flexible time” policy, under which employees were not paid if they logged off of their computers for more than 90 seconds, fails to comply with the Act when employees take breaks of twenty minutes or … Continue Reading

Waiting Without Pay for Nike’s Pre-Exit Bag Inspection? Just Do It – Maybe, or at Least Until the California Supreme Court Weighs In

Nike retail employees required to undergo post-clockout, pre-exit bag and coat checks are not entitled to compensation under California’s wage and hour laws for the time spent on such inspections, a federal district court has ruled.  Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147762 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 12, 2017).  Assuming such inspections … Continue Reading

New Oregon Overtime Law both Giveth to, and Taketh Away from, Manufacturing Employers

Effective immediately, Oregon’s law has been clarified to provide relief to non-union employers operating mills, factories or other manufacturing facilities with respect to certain overtime pay obligations, but also has been revised, effective January 1, 2018, to limit the number of weekly hours employees in such establishments may work. Previously, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries … Continue Reading

Jersey City Seeks To Establish Minimum Workweek Floor of 30 Hours for Building Services

While many laws regulate the payment of wages for long hours (the broadest and most famous of these being the FLSA’s overtime requirement), few if any statutes purport to require workweeks of a certain length.  However, that is exactly what Jersey City, NJ has now attempted to do in a new ordinance requiring a 30-hour … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit: Employer Has Right to Mandate Employee Compliance with Overtime Reporting Procedures And Is Not Liable When Employee Fails to Follow Procedures

Overtime claims based on alleged “off the clock” work often turn on the question of whether the employer has “suffered or permitted” the employee to work uncompensated hours in excess of forty in the workweek. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed a Mississippi district court’s finding that an employer did not … Continue Reading

Court Finds Employer Entitled to Flexibility Under FLSA In Determining Employee’s “Workweek”

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, covered employers must pay non-exempt employees overtime wages for hours worked in excess of forty in a workweek. To comply, while employers must define the workweek, they retain the flexibility to do so as they see fit, as demonstrated by venerable Brooklyn-based federal Judge Jack Weinstein in a new … Continue Reading

Corrections Officers’ Pleading Did Not Establish That County Was “Primary Beneficiary” Of Unpaid Meal Period

Time spent by employees in meal and other breaks continues to prompt litigation against public and private sector employers. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that corrections officers at a Pennsylvania prison failed to allege a violation of the FLSA by challenging the County’s failure to compensate them … Continue Reading

Applying Integrity Staffing., Federal District Court Holds that Time Spent at Pre-Shift Safety Meetings Is Not Compensable Under the FLSA

Joining similar decisions applying the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Portal-to-Portal Act in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, Senior District Judge Terrence F. McVerry of the Western District of Pennsylvania recently held that time spent attending allegedly mandatory pre-shift safety meetings was not compensable under the FLSA because those safety meetings were neither “principal … Continue Reading

Applying Integrity Staffing, Ninth Circuit Holds that Firefighters’ Time Moving Gear to and from Temporary Assignments is Not Compensable Under the FLSA

Applying the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that firefighters are not entitled to compensation under the FLSA for time spent moving certain necessary gear to and from temporary work assignments at fire stations other than their “home” … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Nurses’ Generalized Claim of “8 to 12” Uncompensated Hours Based on Employer’s Time Keeping Protocols

The best defense for employers confronted with claims of “off-the-clock”, (i.e., unrecorded) work under the FLSA are accurate contemporaneous time records created by employees based on clearly communicated time keeping practices. The effectiveness of such records was recently demonstrated in Roberts v. Advocate Health Care, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103631 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 7, 2015). … Continue Reading

Following Supreme Court Direction, Maryland Federal Court Rules Waiting Time Not Compensable

The United States Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Integrity Staffing clarified that, under the Portal-to-Portal Act, preliminary and postliminary tasks are not compensable even if potentially done for the employer’s benefit, provided they are not integral and indispensable to the job functions for which a person is hired. Applying this concept, a Maryland Federal Court … Continue Reading

California Judge Rejects Overreaching Hours Worked Allegation Contained in Plaintiffs’ Pleading

Employers (and thus courts) continue to be confronted with private litigation and DOL rulemaking seeking to expand the scope of wage-and-hour liabilities, such as expanding the definition of employee, seeking to narrow the scope of a longstanding exemption or expanding the definition of what constitutes compensable work. Rejecting a claim based on the latter theory, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds Trial Court’s Finding Rejecting Allegation of Unpaid Sixth Day of Work Despite Absence of Employer Records

Counsel for wage-and-hour plaintiffs often argue – in settlement negotiations and in court – that the plaintiff’s burden under Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680, 692 (1946), applicable if there are no records of hours worked, renders the employee’s recitation of events unassailable. This position misstates the law, as reflected in the … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Judge Rejects Contract Claim for Meal Period Pay

Hospitals and other medical service providers continue to face waves of wage-and-hour claims concerning meal break practices, with non-exempt care providers alleging that they were unable to take unpaid meal periods, or that those meal periods were otherwise compensable.  A new decision from Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejects a … Continue Reading

Second New York Judge Agrees Time Spent In Mandated Alcohol Treatment Meetings Did Not Constitute “Work”

Joining a decision issued last fall by Southern District of New York Judge Andrew Carter, Judge Ronnie Abrams has also ruled that time spent by New York City employees in alcohol counseling required by their job did not constitute “work.”  Gibbs v. City of New York, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7960 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 23, 2015). … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Explains That Employer Knowledge of Work Renders It Compensable

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires payment for all hours an employer suffers or permits an employee to work.  This standard is broad, and an employee’s timesheet is not a panacea against claims that he or she worked additional time where managerial employees may have corrupted that timesheet, either directly or through their communications to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Security Screening Time Not Compensable Under FLSA

Unanimously reversing the Ninth Circuit, today the U.S. Supreme Court held that time spent by warehouse workers undergoing security screenings was non-compensable because it did not constitute a “principal activity,” nor was it “integral and indispensable” to the workers’ other principal activities.  Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13–433 (Dec. 9, 2014). The Court … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Upholds District Court’s Rejection of Challenge to Employer Records

Employers defending FLSA overtime claims brought by employees are often frustrated when such claims include alleged “off the clock” work despite the fact that the business properly maintained records of hours worked.  A new decision rejects one such allegation.  Gilson v. Indaglo, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20828 (11th Cir. 2014). The sales employee plaintiffs … Continue Reading

Missouri Court Finds Trial Necessary To Resolve Whether Break Time Is Compensable Under Missouri Law

Per FLSA regulations, break periods between 5 to 20 minutes generally are considered compensable.  29 C.F.R. § 785.18.  While state wage-and-hour laws typically borrow extensively from the FLSA’s regulatory framework, a new decision from a Missouri Federal Judge highlights that many of the vagaries of state law are unsettled or unclear, rejecting Plaintiffs’ motion for … Continue Reading

Federal Court Finds New York City Not Required To Compensate Employees For Time Spent In Alcohol Rehabilitation

Few entities are subject to as many lawsuits as the City of New York, with its millions of occupants and thousands of employees.  A recent decision rejects three NYPD police officers’ claims that they should have been paid for time spent in alcohol rehabilitation and counseling sessions.  Makinen v. City of New York, 2014 U.S. … Continue Reading

Manhattan Restaurant Prevails On Wage-and-Hour Claims Following Trial

Demoralized by the attendant costs of litigation and a shifting compliance environment in numerous jurisdictions, many hospitality industry employers have resolved wage-and-hour lawsuits brought in New York City and elsewhere over the last number of years.  Bucking this trend, one such employer recently successfully defended its wage practices at trial.  Mendez v. Int’l Food House, … Continue Reading
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