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When Must Employers Pay Employees for Time Not Spent Working?
Employers are required by federal law to pay employees for any time spent that is controlled by and benefits the employer. In other words, the employer must pay the employee for any time that the employee cannot spend as he wishes because he is under the control of the employer.
Examples of When Employers Must Pay for Non-Work Activities
Time Spent on Education or Training
If an employer requires an employee to attend a training session or a lecture, the employer typically must pay the employee for the time that the employee spends at the training session or lecture.
Time Spent on Travel
While employers do not generally have to pay employees for time spent commuting to and from work, there are times that they must compensate employees for travel time. Employers typically have to pay employees for travel time that is part of the job. For example:
- Time spent traveling to and from customers for service calls.
- Time spent traveling to the workplace in emergency situations.
Time Spent Sleeping
If an employee is allowed a certain amount of time for sleeping during a shift, the employer usually has to pay him for that time. However, if an employee is on duty for more than 24 hours at a time, he and his employer must agree to set aside 8 unpaid hours for meals and sleeping. If the employee ends up needing to work during that time, or is unable to sleep for at least five hours, he must be paid for that time.
Whether an employer has to pay an employee for on-call time depends on the restrictions placed on the employee. An employer must pay an employee for on-call time if:
- The employee must stay on the premises while waiting for an assignment.
- The employee is under the control of the employer during the on-call time.
- The employee has significant restrictions placed on him during the on-call time.
States vary as to whether employees must be paid for meal and rest breaks. However, all states require employers to pay employees for any work that they are required to do during their rest breaks.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me Get the Wages I Deserve?
Employment laws are complicated and vary from state to state. An experienced employment lawyer can help you determine what wages you are entitled to. An employment attorney can also help you file any necessary paperwork to recover wages.
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Last Modified: 08-02-2016 09:29 PM PDT
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