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‘Downtime’ pay: When to pay for travel, rest, on-call time

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in Human Resources

It's a deceptively simple concept: You have to pay nonexempt employees for every hour they work. But employers often trip over interpretation of that law when it comes to exceptions such as rest breaks, travel time, on-call hours and other quirks.

These rules stem from the so-called portal-to-portal section of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which relieves you of the obligation to pay for workers' time spent in nonproductive activities, such as driving to the office.

First, follow this basic principle: Pay employees for the time that they are on duty. If they're engaged in their regular work, even if it's before or after their normal shift, that counts as work time. And if you know that they're doing the work, you have to pay them for it, regardless of whether it's on their time sheet.

If the extra time would add up to overtime and you don't want to be paying time-and-a-half, enforce a policy that says...(register to read more)

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