As a worker in the United States you enjoy a number of protections that workers across the rest of the world may not enjoy. Everything from your working conditions to your wages are likely governed by state and/or federal law that ensure you are not taken advantage of or mistreated by employers. Many employees, however, are unsure of the laws and are still abused by employers as a result. A common question, for instance, that workers have is “Am I entitled to be paid for time spent working after my shift?”
The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, is the federal statute where many of the wage and overtime rules relating to employment can be found. The FLSA is very clear about a covered employer’s obligation to pay an eligible employee for time worked. Though there are some employees who are exempt from the provisions of the FLSA, most workers in the U.S. are covered by the FLSA. As such, an employer has an obligation to pay the employee at least minimum wage for all time worked, not all time scheduled to be worked. Therefore, if you are scheduled to work from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., for example, but you do not actually stop working until 5:30 p.m., your employer must pay you until 5:30 p.m. In fact, courts have found in favor of employees who sued for “off-the-clock” time spent maintaining equipment, staying late after normal shifts without “putting in” for overtime, doing job-related paperwork “at home,” making and responding to job-related telephone calls, working through meal periods, and many other activities that you may do for your employer after your scheduled work shift ends.
Furthermore, if the time you worked beyond your scheduled time puts you over 40 hours for the week your employer is not only required by the FLSA to pay you for that time, but is required to pay you overtime for the time your worked beyond 40 hours for the week.
Unfortunately, employers do not always abide by the rules found in the FLSA. Sometimes this is because the employer is ignorant of the rules; however, more often it is because the employer is trying to save money. Regardless, ignorance of the law is no excuse to break the law.
If you have additional questions or concerns about FLSA rules or about employment law in general, contact the experienced Florida employment law attorneys at Celler Legal, P.A. by calling 954-716-8601 to schedule your appointment.