According to the Department of Labor employees must receive at least the minimum wage and all hours worked over 40 per week must be paid at one and one-half times the regular rate of pay.
Below are some specific areas you should be aware of and account for.
Waiting Time: Whether waiting time is hours worked under the Act depends upon the particular circumstances. Generally, the facts may show that the employee was engaged to wait (which is work time) or the facts may show that the employee was waiting to be engaged (which is not work time).
On-Call Time: An employee who is required to remain on call on the employer’s premises is working while “on call.” An employee who is required to remain on call at home, or who is allowed to leave a message where he/she can be reached, is not working (in most cases) while on call.
Rest and Meal Periods: Rest periods of short duration, usually 20 minutes or less, are common in industry and are customarily paid for as working time. These short periods must be counted as hours worked. Bona fide meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) generally need not be compensated as work time. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. The employee is not relieved if he/she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating.
Sleeping Time and Certain Other Activities: An employee who is required to be on duty for less than 24 hours is working even though he/she is permitted to sleep or engage in other personal activities when not busy. An employee required to be on duty for 24 hours or more may agree with the employer to exclude from hours worked bona fide regularly scheduled sleeping periods of not more than 8 hours, provided adequate sleeping facilities are furnished by the employer and the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted night’s sleep. No reduction is permitted unless at least 5 hours of sleep is taken.
Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs: Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time only if four criteria are met, namely: it is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed.
Travel Time: The principles which apply in determining whether time spent in travel is compensable time depends upon the kind of travel involved.
Home to Work Travel: An employee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her home at the end of the workday is engaged in ordinary home to work travel, which is not work time.