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August 18, 2010
Preliminary, Post-Work Activities and Standby Time

In a BLR webinar entitled ‘High-Tech Workers: Who’s Entitled to Overtime and Who’s Not; Avoid the Top 5 Most Common Mistakes’, Dan Obuhanych discusses non-exempt employees, preliminary activities, post-work activities and stand-by time. He states that non-exempt employees should be paid for time worked. This includes all the times that the employer knows that the employee is working and the company allows such work to occur. The employer is then responsible for paying the employee for the time worked. The following are included in the scope of work that an employee can have:

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  • Preliminary and post-work duties
  • Convenience vs. indispensable part of work
  • Waiting time. This involves all waiting time unless the employer permits the employee to leave or relieves the employee of all their duties
  • Meeting and training time. If the meeting or training is mandatory, then the employer needs to pay the employee
  • Travel time. Travel to and from work is not compensable. However, travel for the sake of work duties will be considered to be compensable time
  • On-call time
  • Controlled versus uncontrolled standby

Dan Ko Obuhanych, Esq., is an attorney in the Mountain View, California office of law firm Fenwick & West, LLP ( His litigation practice focuses on labor and employment law, litigating wage and hour suits, unfair labor practice claims, discrimination/retaliation lawsuits, grievance/arbitration matters, and EEOC/DFEH charges. In his counseling practice, Obuhanych advises Fortune 500 companies and small employers on a wide variety of employment and labor issues, including harassment, retaliation, union avoidance, wage and hour issues, independent contractor status issues, and leave and accommodation matters.

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