FLSA guidelines for compensable time.

by on March 30, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Traveling for work is paid under FLSA law

When an employee performs certain activities – walking, riding on buses, donning protective gear – that are part of her job, the time spent performing these activities is compensable time in FLSA guidelines.

But just because an employee works up a sweat on the job, her shower isn’t necessarily compensable. Most employers want to be in compliance with FLSA guidelines. But sometimes it’s hard to draw the line.

In general an activity is compensable under FLSA regulations if the job can’t be performed without it.

A court ruled that knife-wielding slaughterhouse employees were not entitled to compensation for the time they spent changing in and out of their work clothes under FLSA law. But they were entitled to compensation for the time they spent donning their protective gear.

That’s because the outer garments were primarily for the employees’ benefit. But the protective equipment was “integral and indispensable” to the employer, ruled the court. In other words, a slaughterhouse worker has to dress for work, just like anyone else. She doesn’t get compensated for that.

But because she can’t do her job without wearing protective gear, putting the gear on is integral and indispensable – not just to the worker, but to her employer.

A more common example: the time a worker spends driving to work is not compensable; it’s up to him to get to work. But the time a field technician spends driving from one call to another is compensable in FLSA guidelines. That’s because his job requires him to be on the road.

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