Common FLSA Questions

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a very long and detailed law that provides employees several different and significant protections including earning at least federal minimum wage and for non-exempt workers, and earning overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in any one work week. As an Atlanta wage and hour law firm, our attorneys are experienced with the FLSA and stay apprised of new developments and cases that may affect employees. Some common questions we often receive include:

  1. I am a non-exempt employee.  Am I entitled to be paid for time worked while travelling for business? Is my travel time included?

In general, non-exempt employees should be paid for all travel time. However, in some cases time spent as a passenger (such as in an airplane or car), outside of normal working hours, can be excluded from total time worked. On the other hand, if you are working while on the plane or in the car, then you should be compensated for that time.

  1. Can workers be required to work more than 8 hours in a day? Or more than 40-hours in a work week?

The FLSA does not limit how many hours an employer can demand that an employee (over the age of 16) work in a day.

Further, the FLSA does not set forth restrictions on the number of hours employees can work in a week.   Rather it requires that non-exempt employees who work more than 40-hours in any work week be paid overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40. Additionally, employers may set forth certain expectations for the amount of time an employee must work based on what is appropriate for the job. These expectations are typically set forth when you decide whether to take the job and often reflect what is deemed appropriate by the industry. Additionally in certain situations, federal or state law may impose restrictions out of safety concerns, such as is the case for truck drivers and health care workers.

3. If I am considered exempt, can my employer demand that I work a set schedule?

The exempt designation refers to whether an employee may be entitled to overtime pay, but does not mean that you can set your own schedule – unless that is part of your employment arrangement. As an employee, your employer may still require that you work certain hours, i.e. 9-5, even if you end up working in excess of 40 hours.

For more information, or if you have questions concerning your rights and protections pursuant to the FLSA, please contact our Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.

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