Pre-Shift and Post-Shift Work

The FLSA defines a work day as starting from the moment the employee begins performing the principal activities related to work and ending when the employee stops performing those principal activities. The determination of compensable time, therefore, depends on how the employee actually spends time on the job and is not limited to scheduled shift times.

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Although unpaid pre-shift and post-shift work is prohibited under the FLSA, many companies require workers to perform some duties prior to "clocking in" for work. Employers may attempt to avoid paying their workers by requiring them to clock in once they are ready to work. In industries that require workers to wear protective gear, log on to computers, complete pre-shift inspections, or obtain necessary supplies, the employer must pay the employees for this pre-shift time.

If you have questions about compensation related to pre-shift or post-shift work, the attorneys at Mays & Kerr can help. A knowledgeable Georgia employment lawyer from our firm will evaluate your situation and help you understand the protections provided by the FLSA.

Pre-Shift Work

Some employers wrongly believe that pre-shift meetings and work can be considered unpaid time. As a general rule of thumb, if the meeting is job-related and mandatory, the employer must compensate employees for their time. Failure to do so can make an employer vulnerable to an individual or collective action from employees, and the back pay and other penalties owed may be staggering.

It is usually illegal for an employer to require employees to show up for work prior to the beginning of their shift and not compensate them for their time. In the customer service industry, many employers require their staff to show up for brief "pre-shift meetings" prior to clocking in for work that day. These meetings may include talks from managers and reminders about policies. Because these meetings are mandatory, the employer must compensate employees for their time.

Employees who attend meetings, lectures, or training do not need to receive pay if the event is not mandatory, it takes place outside of the employee's regular work hours, it is not job-related, and the employee is not working while attending the event.

Post-Shift Work

In some industries, the process of winding down after a shift may take some time. Some employers require workers to log off, break down equipment, clean work areas, or fill out inspection reports at the end of their shift. Because these responsibilities are job-related, the FLSA requires an employer to pay workers for this time. Unfortunately, in some industries, it is common for employers to require employees to clock out before completing this post-shift work. If you are concerned that you may not be getting paid for all of the time you work, contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your rights.

An employee is allowed to remain at work to finish a task or to correct any errors that they discover. If the employee voluntarily remains at work after the scheduled shift ends, the work time is compensable.

Contact an Attorney for More Information

At the law firm of Mays & Kerr, client satisfaction is our number one goal. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about the FLSA. We help our clients understand their legal rights and we represent both employers and employees with legal issues related to workplace practices. If you have questions about wage and hour laws, contact us today.