Two of the main provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is that all non-exempt workers be paid at least minimum wage and that they receive overtime pay for all time worked over 40 hours in any one work week. An employer’s failure to pay for all time worked may violate the law, and lead to a claim for back wages and damages.
Often claims that an employer did not pay an employee for all time worked arise out of time spent working during lunch breaks or after hours, or other similar “off-the-clock” work. Many employees spend a significant amount of time performing work related tasks that they may or may not be compensated for. If you are considered “non-exempt,” then you should be entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times your standard rate if this work goes over 40 hours. Recent case law has emphasized though that employers must have actual or constructive knowledge that the employee was putting in the time.
For example, a recent case determined that city of Chicago employees were not entitled to overtime pay for time spent checking their blackberries and responding to emails where that time wasn’t specifically reported. Where it was documented, they received pay. The court determined that although the City could have discovered that employees were working overtime, they weren’t under an obligation to do so, and that the proper analysis was whether the city had knowledge or should have had knowledge, not could they have had the knowledge. This decision follows the recent trend in emphasizing the need for diligent record keeping to support overtime pay claims.
For more information or if you have any questions concerning your wages or hours, please contact our experienced Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.