Houston, TX – Over the course of their careers, many workers will find that their employers have had them labor in various ways without actually compensating them for the tasks they have completed. There are a number of situations where this happens, and the most common is that some employers may be expecting their workers to do certain things after clocking out for the day or during break periods. Anytime a worker is guided by their employer’s direction is considered compensated time according to labor laws. Legal action can be taken if an employer consistently expects their employees to do extra work during downtime without paying them. 

Working during breaks, after hours, or after a shift

According to federal labor laws, there are a number of different situations where on call time, waiting time, and short breaks are supposed to be compensated. This is especially true if the worker remains on the company’s premises and these inactive periods happen during their normal shift, even if they are not actively performing their normal job duties. The main exception is a bona fide meal or break period that lasts thirty minutes or more, such as a lunch hour, where the employee is not expected to engage in any work related activity at all until this period is over. In some situations where there are grey areas, there can be an inquiry as to the level of restriction and control the employer has over a worker’s movement and freedom during this time. Legal advice may be required for borderline cases. 

There are some situations where a worker must remain on call or actively working overnight during lengthy shifts. These workers must be paid in accord with all labor laws unless they are given an uninterrupted period of at least five hours of sleep. The employer must also pay the worker for travel time or movement between tasks or jobs that occur in different locations. In most situations, work related travel needs to be compensated. 

Remedies for unpaid working time

Workers who believe that they have not been paid for labor during a break or travel period should keep their own detailed records. This may possibly be used as evidence in an investigation or civil case against the employer related to unpaid wages. Lawyers who work in this field of practice can provide more information to workers who have concerns about their pay and compensation during break time. 

Legal advice related to unpaid wages and wage theft issues

Workplaces that have not given workers their proper pay are in violation of the law and legal action can be taken. Moore and Associates focuses their practice on these kinds of issues in the Houston area. 

Firm contact info:

Moore & Associates 

440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002 

713-222-6775 

www.mooreandassociates.net

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