Portal to Portal Act: Determining Hours Worked
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Understand and be aware of work time issues to avoid possible wage and hour claims.
Employees and their counsel continue to pursue class action claims for off-the-clock work and unpaid overtime wages at a fever pitch. Thousands of wage and hour class actions asserting violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act or parallel state laws are filed each year and the costs of defending these matters and the damages claimed and paid, whether through trial or settlement, are staggering. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor is issuing interpretations that are apparently aimed at helping plaintiffs in these matters. One area upon which plaintiffs have focused is when employers must pay employees at the beginning and end of the work day. They have pursued claims for time working at home, commuting between home and work, changing clothes, putting on equipment, waiting to punch in and out, walking to and from their work stations, talking to co-workers, turning on and off computers and other equipment, and waiting for computers to boot up or shut down. Understand the nature of these claims and the newest arguments advanced by plaintiffs' counsel. Learn how you can structure your work environment to minimize the likelihood and success of these pre and post-work claims.
AuthorsPatrick M. Madden, K&L Gates LLP
General Requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Similar State Wage and Hour Laws
Work Time Issues at the Start and End of the Work Day
• Work at Home
• Commuting and Travel Time
• Security Screening
• Clothes Changing, and Donning and Doffing
• Waiting and Walking Time
• Pass-Down Time and Employee Discussions
• Computers, Equipment and Tools
Time Recording Issues That Complicate Class Wage Claims
• The Need for Accurate Records
• The Use of Time Rounding Systems
• The Impact of Attendance Policies
What Can an Employer Do to Minimize the Risks?