5:035-AP3 – Compensable Work Time for Non-Exempt Employees Under the FLSA

Compensable Time Defined for Non-Exempt Employees

Hours Worked – Non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked in a workweek.  In general, hours worked include:

  • All the time an employee must be on duty;
  • All the time an employee must be on the employer’s premises;
  • All the time an employee must be at any other prescribed place of work; and
  • Any additional time the employee is allowed (i.e., “suffered or permitted”) to work.

Suffered or Permitted to Work – If an employer knows or has reason to know that a non-exempt employee is continuing to work, it is considered work time.  29 C.F.R. §785.11.

This includes allowing employees to work at home (e.g., as when a Building Principal’s secretary calls for substitutes early in the morning).  29 C.F.R. §785.12.

If an employee works additional straight time (at the regular rate of pay) or overtime hours without authorization, that employee must still be compensated but may be disciplined for violating Board policy.

Volunteering to Perform Regular Work – Non-exempt employees may not volunteer to perform their regular work duties off-the-clock and without compensation. 29 U.S.C. §203(e)(4)(A).  They must be paid even if the employee offers to do the work on his or her “own time.” Employees may not waive FLSA requirements.

Examples of Hours Worked for Non-Exempt Employees

  • Meal periods, unless the employee is completely relieved of all duties and free to leave the duty post for at least 30 minutes. Teacher aides who must supervise students during their lunch are not considered relieved of duties.  Employees who eat at their desk and answer phones or otherwise perform work are not considered relieved of duties.
  • Attendance at in-services, meetings, or lectures unless: (1) attendance is outside the employee’s regular working hours, (2) attendance is voluntary, (3) the activity is not related to the employee’s job, and (4) the employee performs no productive work for the District.
  • Coffee breaks or rest periods of 20 minutes or less.
  • Work done at home if the supervisor knows or should have known that such work was done.
  • Work done before or after regular hours or on weekends.
  • On-call time if the employee is required to remain on the employer’s premises or so close that he/she is unable to use the time effectively for his/her own purposes while on call.
  • Transporting material to a worksite before the start of the workday.
  • Time spent preparing for work, e.g., bus drivers doing safety checks before the route or securing the bus after the route.
  • Clean up work at the end of a shift.
  • Travel time during the workday from one job site to another, e.g., non-exempt school nurses traveling from one school to another.
  • Travel time during the regular working hours, even if it is the weekend.
  • Attending a School Board meeting at night either to take minutes or perform some other required or assigned duty.

The amount of pay due an employee cannot be determine without knowing the total number of hours actually worked by that employee in each work week.  An employee must be paid for all of the time considered to be hours worked, and all time that is hours worked must be counted when determining overtime.

Date Adopted: March 13, 2008

Date Amended:  May 21, 2014