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Employees can’t ‘volunteer’ to do extra work for free

by on
in Centerpiece,Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

An hour worked must be an hour paid, according to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For private employers, that means there’s no such thing as an employee putting in “volunteer” time.

While the FLSA has been around for decades, some employers still think they can circumvent this inconvenient truth. If some of your managers share this misconception, the following case may make them change their minds.

Recent case: Sheriff’s deputy Nathan Campbell campaigned for the creation of a K-9 unit that would include his two dogs. The sheriff’s department agreed after Campbell said there would be no cost to the department. Campbell trained the dogs and started the program.

Later, Campbell sued, alleging he should have been paid for all the time he spent caring for the dogs. The department argued that since Campbell had agreed to create the unit at no cost, he shouldn’t be able to claim overtime.

The court disagreed. It said the department couldn’t simply agree not to pay Campbell; it still had to comply with the FLSA. Even worse, the court said the de­­part­­ment hadn’t acted in good faith. Campbell can now go back three years and de­­mand double damages. (Campbell v. Kelly, et al., No. 3:09-CV-435, SD OH, 2011)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert June 20, 2012 at 6:58 am

Overtime is right for every employer, As i know most of the firms are not paying overtime correctly to employers.


Scott Behren January 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

For more information about the FLSA laws check out our employment law blog http://www.takethisjobnshoveitblog.com.


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