• How do I determine the number of hours I work according to the FLSA?

Whether determining minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA, the first step is to calculate the number of hours you work. In general, a person is “employed” when they are “suffered or permitted to work. Thus, the number of hours worked is not the same as an employee’s scheduled shift. Instead, Courts look at the period between the time, on any particular day, when such employee commences his/her “principal activity” and the time on that day at which he/she ceases such principal activity or activities.

  • Example: An employee is required to start their computer and login into a number of programs before starting their shift. This pre-shift computer boot up process if compensable time and should be paid.
  • Example: An employee is required to put on protective equipment before starting their shift. This preshift “donning and duffing” activity is essential for their employment and should be paid.

Even if the employer does not request that an employee stay before or after their shift, this is compensable time. For example, an employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the shift to finish a call or complete a task. The reason is immaterial, this time must be paid.

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