You deserve to be paid for all of the hours you work for your employer. One of the tricks used by employers to cheat employees out of overtime or minimum wage is to refuse to compensate them for some of their time. Employees may be asked to punch out and keep working. They may be denied breaks and mealtimes, but also not paid for that time. There are many ways that employers can dictate your time, but try to avoid paying you.
At Costello & Mains, LLC, our experienced lawyers help workers collect the wages they have earned. We handle claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as other state and federal laws protecting worker rights. Call us at 856-291-0642 or contact us online to discuss your needs in a free case evaluation.
Recording The Hours You Work
The FLSA requires your employer to keep records of the wages you were paid and the hours you worked. If those records do not reflect the actual hours you are being asked to work, that is a violation of the law. The rules do allow for minor differences and periods of time considered insignificant, but they should be as close to correct as is practical.
Many violations of the hours worked rules are repeated over and over against the same employee or group of employees. Employers tend to make a habit of cheating workers out of rest and meal periods or refusing to include time periods spent completing a task. Your employer cannot refuse to pay you for hours spent working, even if the work took longer than anticipated.
De Minimis Time And Waiting Time
Some jobs include significant periods of waiting. Whether you deserve to be paid for that time depends on many factors. Generally, if you are not free to use that time for your own purposes, you should be paid for those hours. If you are waiting for the next customer or task and you must wait on site for an unknown period of time for that to happen, you should be paid. De minimis time is time that is infrequent and insignificant. It only includes time that can't be recorded as a practical matter. It does not mean any small amount of time your employer doesn't want to pay you for. If a task takes five minutes at the end of every day, it is not de minimis just because it's small.
If you believe your employer is failing to pay you for the full hours you are working, you need to speak to an attorney. We can advise you of your rights and help you collect the wages you have earned. Contact us right away to discuss your situation.