A recent overtime lawsuit raised an interesting question – what employment
laws apply when workers are required to “sleep on the job”?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides workers many protections,
including requiring that workers be paid at least minimum wage and that
non-exempt workers be compensated at a rate of one and one-half times
their standard rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours
in any work week. Despite this straightforward sounding rule, employers
often mistakenly – or even sometimes intentionally – violate
federal labor law by failing to pay workers all the compensation they deserve.
If you have questions about your wages and whether you have been paid properly,
it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced
Atlanta wage and hour attorney who can help answer your questions and protect your rights.
Employers may make errors in your pay in a variety of ways. A common mistake
is “misclassification.” Misclassification occurs when your
employer mistakenly classifies you as an independent contractor rather
than an employee, or an exempt employee rather than non-exempt. In each
of these situations, you may be denied the overtime wages you deserve.
FLSA violations and lawsuits are also frequently the result of employers
failing to pay workers for all the time they put in – such as required
time for doffing and donning gear, missed breaks and lunches, and off-the-clock
time required to respond to phone calls and emails.
A recent case raises the question of how workers – “house
managers” – should be compensated for the time they are required
to sleep at work. In this instance, the house managers worked at an agency
that provides care for individuals in a homelike setting and requires
employees to work 24-hour shifts. The workers allegedly were required
to sleep overnight in the agency homes where they worked and were not
paid for these overnight hours. The lawsuit alleges that this arrangement
violates several FLSA provisions.
Generally, how federal labor law applies to overnight provisions is based
on several considerations including the number of consecutive hours a
worker is required to put in, whether an agreement for compensation for
overnight time exists, and the sleeping conditions provided for the workers.
Despite the straightforward nature of the FLSA, each work situation may
vary and raise complications concerning your pay. If you have questions,
or believe that you may not have received all the compensation you are
entitled to, please contact the top
Atlanta wage and hour attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate, confidential consultation.