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Hours of Work
National Summary
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers pay employees a minimum wage for all hours worked and an overtime wage for hours worked over 40 in a week. In general, hours worked for purposes of the FLSA includes all time that employees spend performing activities on their employers’ behalf. Hours worked also includes waiting time, travel time, other than time spent commuting to and from the employee’s regular place of work, breaks or meal periods that are less than 20 minutes long, and time the employee is required to spend in training, at seminars or in meetings. Hours worked for purposes of the FLSA do not include waiting time, time spent on call or time when an employee is required to carry a pager or cell phone, provided the employee is otherwise free to effectively use the time for his or her own personal purposes. The FLSA does not obligate employers to pay employees for holidays, vacation, or sick days.
The FLSA requires that employers keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid. The statute does not limit the number of hours employees may work in a week, except in the case of minors under the age of 16. In addition, individual states may have laws that regulate the payment of wages and overtime, the hours worked by minors, and what constitutes paid work time.
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170295news.aspxNews Right on Time? Watch Out for Predictive Scheduling Laws 11/10/2020National
159137tools.aspxPolicies Hours of Work 01/13/2017National
167558index.aspxQuestions & Answers In weather disasters we require staff to spend the night in our assisted living facility. Do we have to pay them for hours off duty and/or sleeping? 06/14/2013National
166517index.aspxQuestions & Answers Do we have to pay hourly employees for attending a company-sponsored event on a weekend? 09/06/2011National
159410index.aspxQuestions & Answers Employee's normal schedule is 7:30-16:00. Employee is asked to work 7:00-16:00, they clock in at 6:50. Do we have to pay them for the time between 6:50 and 7:00? 02/10/2010National
159316index.aspxQuestions & Answers Does an employer have to pay employees when they fill out a timesheet on an internet based payroll system at their home outside normal work hours or fill out a timesheet at computer host site? 11/03/2009National
156460index.aspxAnalysis Hours of Work 03/04/2009National
156066index.aspxQuestions & Answers Are there any requirements--from the FLSA or other laws--when it comes to consecutive days of work? Is there a limit on the number of days an employee can work in a row? We are located in California. 08/14/2008National
156006index.aspxQuestions & Answers We have a construction business that requires all workers to congregate to go through the security gate together, to report to the worksite. Do the workers need to be paid from the time they must show up (15 minutes) before they go through the gate? 06/02/2008National
155612index.aspxQuestions & Answers One of our locations is interested in holding a fundraising car wash . The question is, if our employees are asked to volunteer labor to work the car wash located on company property, during operating hours, are we required to pay them? 07/02/2007National
155573index.aspxQuestions & Answers What are the most hours in a week an employee can legally work? 05/29/2007National
155514index.aspxQuestions & Answers Hourly employees are required by the employer to pass a professional certification exam. If they are working 40 hours a week in addition to studying for the exam, is the time spent studying compensable as overtime pay? 04/03/2007National
155476index.aspxQuestions & Answers When must on-call time be counted as hours worked for purposes of calculating overtime? 02/27/2007National
155448index.aspxQuestions & Answers What are the rules on paying employees for attending/working at outside community events? 01/30/2007National
155343index.aspxQuestions & Answers We have several managers who call employees at home when they are either on vacation or maternity leave. The questions are about work functions. Is this time compensable? 10/17/2006National
155030index.aspxQuestions & Answers Our office hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, which equates to 37.5 hrs per week. We also require 15 min before and 15 min after those office hrs to allow time to prepare for the day and wrap things up. We pay for 37.5 hrs a week. 04/11/2006National
154997index.aspxQuestions & Answers When we have internal applicants interviewing for a position, do they continue to be on the time clock, or do they have to clock out for thier interview? 03/09/2006National
154901index.aspxQuestions & Answers Is time workers spend donning and doffing safety gear compensable time? 12/20/2005National
154880index.aspxQuestions & Answers If an employer hires commissioned only sales people and requires them to attend a week long training session prior to running leads, must they be compensated for that time? 11/29/2005National
154832index.aspxQuestions & Answers When is travel from home to work in an emergency situation considered work time? 10/11/2005National
154528index.aspxQuestions & Answers When is non-work time compensable? 08/16/2005National
154008index.aspxQuestions & Answers An employee who is on standby, but doesn't have work restrictions such as must stay at home, etc. and is called into work. When does pay start and stop? 03/17/2005National
153993index.aspxQuestions & Answers Are there unique laws that apply to compensation for employees that can sleep during a shift? Can they be paid less than would be required if they were awake for a shift? 02/17/2005National
152953tools.aspxPolicies Employee Workweek Guidelines 09/23/2003National
151790index.aspxQuestions & Answers an employee punched in earlier and punched out later than than the normal working hours and now wants compensation for these 5-8 daily minutes. Does the company have to provide records or pay the "time"? 06/25/2003National
151789index.aspxQuestions & Answers In NY, what is the minimum time allowed for breaks if you work 37.5 hours per week? Can an employee waive the break and work? 04/29/2003National
151788index.aspxQuestions & Answers Does an employee have to take a lunch break when working an 8 hour shift? 04/08/2003National
151787index.aspxQuestions & Answers if someone wants to shorten their lunch to just 15 minutes so that they can leave a little early, does Indiana law require that that amount of time (less than 20 minutes) be PAID? 04/08/2003National
151786index.aspxQuestions & Answers are employers who require employees to change from "street" clothes to "uniform" clothes, required to provide paid compensation for this requirement? 04/04/2003National
151785index.aspxQuestions & Answers How do "flex" hours work with overtime? 04/01/2003National
151783index.aspxQuestions & Answers What do you suggest is the best way to track salaried employees Paid Time Off days? 03/21/2003National
151782index.aspxQuestions & Answers Can we require an employee to call in each evening to get his scheduled start time for the next day? 03/04/2003National
152863tools.aspxForms Flexible Work Hours Audit 02/17/2003National
153066tools.aspxChecklists Flexible Work Hours Checklist 02/17/2003National
153065tools.aspxChecklists Hours of Work Checklist 01/29/2003National
151781index.aspxQuestions & Answers Are there any laws in colorado that will allow me to or dis-allow me to dock time or pay for employees who simply do not take the time to carefully punch in and out? 12/26/2002National
151775index.aspxQuestions & Answers When asking or requiring an employee to take courses to improve their skills, is it required that the employer buy the materials or allow the employee to use company time to take the required course? 12/20/2002National
151773index.aspxQuestions & Answers If we require employees to get a physical, is this considered time worked and would it count toward overtime? 12/19/2002National
151762index.aspxQuestions & Answers Is there a law that states what is the number of hours an employee has to work to be considered a full-time employee in the state of Washington? 12/18/2002National
151774index.aspxQuestions & Answers An hourly employee gets an additional flat rate for being on-call, but now wants to be paid at a hourly rate for taking on-call. What are we required to do? 11/13/2002National
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