Throughout the world, there are people who do not get paid for the work they do. Fortunately for us, we live in the United States and shouldn't have to worry about wage and hour laws. Or so we would think. The truth is that many people in this country are not paid what they are due at the end of each week. The catalysts for this problem are probably the oil and gas industries where workers are grossly underpaid for their work. Employers, however, are smart about getting around paying their employees by "classifying" them wrong, or arguing that a worker took fifty hours to do a forty hour job, or not paying them for travel time or training time.
There are four types of "paid times" we are going to talk about today. If you were underpaid or unpaid and told that your presence at a job site fell under one of these "times," it's likely that you will have a legitimate case against your employer and will need a wage and hour attorney to advocate for you.
The first "time" is called compensable time. Simply put, this is the time you work for which you should be paid. Whether it is regular time or overtime, compensable time is the time you spend doing your assigned job. If you aren't paid for your compensable time, you may have a wage and hour claim against your employer.
The second type of "time" is called travel time. There are certain circumstances when an employer will ask an employee to travel during work hours, sometimes in the employee's vehicle and sometimes in a company vehicle. If your job is to travel during an eight or nine hour day to various sites and you are not paid for the time you are actually travelling, then you may have a wage and hour claim against your employer.
The third example is known as on-call or waiting time. The time an employee spends on-call, or waiting to be called into work, may be considered compensable time. Such instances would include if an employee is required to spend his or her on-call time on a jobsite. If an employee cannot use the on-call time freely until he or she receives a call, then this could be considered compensable time and that person may have a wage and hour claim for back pay.
Finally, there is training time. If you are told you must attend a mandatory training during work hours, but that you will not be paid for it, this is against the law. The only way it's legal to not pay a person for training time is to have the training after work hours and make it voluntary.
If you have any more questions about wage and hour law, please call the Pittsburgh wage and hour attorneys at Goodrich and Geist for a free consultation at 800-806-2456 or 412-766-1455.