An employee who is obliged to stay on call on the employer’s site is working despite the fact that he or she is “on call” (U. S. Department of Labor, 2007, p. 1). Limitations on the employee’s liberty could necessitate this time to be remunerated. On the other hand an employee who is obliged to stay on call at home, or who is permitted to leave a message where he or she can be contacted, in most cases is not working while on call. Complications occur when employers fail to acknowledge and calculate definite hours worked as reimbursable hours.
For instance, an employee who stays at his or her desk though eating lunch is repeatedly answers the telephone and transfers callers is considered working. Therefore, such time must be counted and compensated because the employee has not been totally relieved from function. Finally, attendance at meetings, trainings, lecture programs and analogous activities need not be calculated as working period only if four criteria are present: no other work is simultaneously executed, not job connected, it is voluntary and it is remote to normal working hours (U. S. Department of Labor, 2007, p. 2).
Overtime Law Several employers attempt to evade the obligation to compensate one and a half of the hourly rates for overtime hours of an employee. The Fair Labor Standard Act is very firm in defining what comprises overtime and demands that anytime an employer requires or permits the employee to work, the said work adds up towards the latter’s weekly hours (enotes. com, n. d. ). This indicates that even if an employer does not oblige an employee to work; nevertheless the employee works, those hours count toward the determination of overtime.
Additionally integrated in the computation of overtime is time used up by an employee correcting errors, even when the employees does so on their own accord (enotes. com, n. d. ). Time spent by an employee purely doing nothing or waiting for something to do counts toward the worked hours, assuming the employee was obliged by the employer to be at the workplace (enotes. com, n. d. ). Work carried out by the employee at home or at a different place other than the employer’s building as well counts towards hours worked.
Conversely, certain transportation workers, live-in private household workers, and agricultural workers are exempt from overtime provisions of the FLSA, whose industries are contingent to directive under other Federal laws (Women’s Bureau, 1997, p. 202). The Department of Labor uses a range of remedies to implement conformity with the Act’s requirements. When Wage and Hour Division examiners come across violations, they advise changes in employment practices to bring employer into conformity and they ask for the payment of any back wages owing to their respective employees.
Deliberate violators may be fined up to $10,000 as well as be prosecuted criminally (U. S. Department of Labor, 2007, n. p. ). A second conviction may effect in incarceration. Employers who repeatedly or wilfully violate the overtime pay or minimum wage requirements are subject to civil money reprimands of up to $1,000 for every violation (U. S. Department of Labor, 2007, n. p. ). When the Department of Labor weighs up a civil money sentence, the employer has the authority to file an exception to the resolution within 15 days of acceptance of the notice (U. S. Department of Labor, 2007, n. p. ).
If an exception is filed, it is transferred to an Administrative Law Judge for an enquiry and resolution as to the appropriateness of the penalty. If an exception is not filed, the sentence becomes final. Finally, the Department of Labor may further bring an action for back pay and an equivalent amount in liquidated damages and it may get hold of injunctions to curtail employers from contravening the Act.