Compensable time is work time. If work time is over 40 hours a week, you get overtime.

Are you Being Paid for All Hours Worked?

Unless you are exempt, you are entitled to be paid for all hours after the first forty in a week at 1.5 times your regular hourly rate. To determine whether you are exempt, please view Exemptions.

However, your employer may not have included all the hours that should be counted in calculating your overtime pay. Your total hours include all of the time that you spend doing work that is primarily for the benefit of your employer.

Employers commonly overlook certain kinds of work when counting employee hours, such as:

1.   Time you stayed late at the job site, without a specific request from your boss 
2.   Work performed at home 
3.   Time you are required to spend waiting for work
4.   Rest and meal times 
5.   Time spent sleeping when you are required to remain on the job site during sleep
6.   Time spent in cleaning or preparing equipment, or putting on 
protective clothing
7.   Time you spend attending required training courses
8.   Time you spend traveling on behalf of your employer
9.   Time spent in grievance or dispute resolution meetings with your boss 
10. Time spent receiving medical attention on the employer’s premises
11. Time spent on civic or charitable work, when requested or directed by your boss 
12. Time spent contributing to the “employee suggestions” box, or a 
similar program

If you spent time in any of the above ways, your employer may be legally required to pay you for this time, and to count this time toward your total hours for overtime purposes.

1. Time You Stayed Late at the Job Site, Without a Specific Request From Your Boss 
If you are working overtime- even without having it approved by your boss- and your boss knows you are working the overtime and does not prevent it, your employer cannot later claim you did not receive permission for working overtime. It does not matter why the employee is working overtime.

An employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the shift 
He/She may be a pieceworker 
He/She may desire to finish an assigned task or he may wish to correct errors, 
He/She may wish to prepare time reports or other records.

In all cases it is the duty of the employer to exercise its control and see that the work is not performed if it does not want it to be performed. They cannot sit back and accept the benefits without compensating for them. Your employer has the power to enforce the rule and must make every effort to do so.

2. Work Performed at Home. 
The rule is also applicable to work performed away from the premises or the job site, or even at home. If the employer knows or has reason to believe that the work is being performed, he must count the time as hours worked. Id . The important question is whether the work benefits the employer, not where you do it.

3. Time You are Required to Spend Waiting for Work. 
Whether waiting time is time worked depends on the circumstances. Facts may show that the employee was required to wait or they may show that the employee was waiting on the employer to be instructed to work. Such questions “must be determined in accordance with common sense and the general concept of work or employment.”

An employee required to remain on call or too close to work to use time freely 
A stenographer who reads a book while waiting for dictation 
A messenger who works a crossword puzzle while awaiting assignments 
A fireman who plays checkers while waiting for alarms 
A factory worker who waits while waiting for machinery to be repaired

Periods during which an employee is completely relieved from duty and which are long enough to enable him to use the time effectively for his own purposes are not hours worked. Whether the time is long enough to enable him to use the time effectively for his own purposes depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of the case.

4. Rest and Meal Times Rest periods of short duration, running from 5 minutes to about 20 minutes must be counted as hours worked. Rest periods may not be offset against other working time such as comp waiting time or on-call time. Meal times are not work time. However, meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks. These are rest periods.

5. Time Spent Sleeping When You are Required to Remain on the Job Site During Sleep
Under certain conditions an employee is considered to be working even though some of his time is spent in sleeping. An employee who is required to be on duty for less than 24 hours is working even though he is permitted to sleep or engage in other personal activities when not busy. If the sleeping period is interrupted by a call to duty, the interruption must be counted as hours worked.

A telephone operator who is required to be on duty is working even though she is permitted to sleep when not busy answering calls. 
Where an employee is required to be on duty for 24 hours or more, the employer and the employee may agree to exclude meal periods and regularly scheduled sleeping period of not more than 8 hours from hours worked, provided adequate sleeping facilities are furnished by the employer and the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted night’s sleep. If there is no agreement, the 8 hours of sleeping time and lunch periods constitute hours worked.

6. Time Spent in Cleaning or Preparing Equipment, or Putting on Protective Clothing 
Time you spend on activities which are necessary to prepare for or complete your work may be time that should be counted for overtime purposes. Such activities that are an integral part of the principal activity should be included. Id .

Employees who must oil, grease, or clean his machine, or install a new tool. 
A factory worked required to begin work 30 min. early to hand out materials 
Chemical plant employee that must change into a protective suit before work

7. Time You Spend Attending Required Training Courses 
Time you spend at lectures, meetings, training programs, and similar activities is time that should be counted toward your total hours for overtime purposes, unless:

  • Attendance is outside of the employee’s regular working hours;
  • Attendance is in fact voluntary;
  • The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee’s job; and
  • The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.

Attendance is not voluntary if the employee is led to believe that their job or promotion depends on their attendance.

8. Time You Spend Traveling on Behalf of Your Employer 
Whether your travel time is work time depends upon the kind of travel involved. Normal travel from home to work is not work time. Time spent by an employee in travel as part of his principal activity, such as travel from job site to job site during the workday, must be counted as hours worked. Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home.

An employee who has gone home after completing his day’s work and is subsequently called out at night to travel a substantial distance to perform an emergency job for one of his employer’s customers all time spent on such travel is working time. 
Where an employee is required to report at a meeting place to receive instructions or to perform other work there, or to pick up and to carry tools, the travel from the designated place to the work place is part of the day’s work, and must be counted as hours worked regardless of contract, custom, or practice

If an employee normally finishes his work on the premises at 5 p.m. and is sent to another job which he finishes at 8 p.m. and is required to return to his employer’s premises arriving at 9 p.m. , all of the time is working time.

9. Time Spent in Grievance or Dispute Resolution Meetings with Your Boss 
Time spent in adjusting grievances between an employer and employees during the time the employees are required to be on the premises is hours worked, but in the event a bona fide union is involved the counting of such time will, as a matter of enforcement policy, be left to the process of collective bargaining or to the custom or practice under the collective bargaining agreement.

10. Time Spent Receiving Medical Attention on the Employer’s Premises. 
Time spent by an employee in waiting for and receiving medical attention on the premises or at the direction of the employer during the employee’s normal working hours on days when he is working constitutes hours worked.

11. Time Spent on Civic or Charitable Work, When Requested or Directed by Your Boss. 
Time spent in work for public or charitable purposes at the employer’s request, or under his direction or control, or while the employee is required to be on the premises, is working time. However, time spent voluntarily in such activities outside of the employee’s normal working hours is not hours worked.

12. Time Spent Contributing to the “Employee Suggestions” Box. 
Generally, time spent by employees outside of their regular working hours in developing suggestions under a general suggestion system is not working time, but if employees are permitted to work on suggestions during regular working hours the time spent must be counted as hours worked. Where an employee is assigned to work on the development of a suggestion, the time is considered hours worked.

It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you or terminate you for speaking up and filing a lawsuit in order to collect your minimum wage and overtime.

The overtime lawyers of the Tran Law Firm represents clients who have not been fairly paid. If you think you are owed back pay or had illegal deductions made from your wages, contact the overtime lawyers at the Tran Law Firm to review your overtime case.

Call 713-223-8855 or Complete the form below

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