CAMDEN, N.J. — A worker for a landscaping company in New Jersey filed suit against his employer for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The worker claimed that the company, G&G Landscaping Construction Inc., failed to properly compensate him for time spent loading trucks and other shop activities before his scheduled start time. The company asked the court to grant them summary judgment, but the court found that were enough substantial issues in dispute for the case to move forward because the plaintiff has provided enough evidence to overcome any motion for summary judgment.
Shop Time Claim
In deciding against summary judgment, the court applied a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2014 in Integrity Staffing v. Busk. In that case, the Supreme Court decided that the workers who filed suit did not have to be paid for time they spent passing through security screenings because it was not “an integral and indispensable part” of the workers’ principal job activities. Here, however, the court found that the plaintiff’s duties of loading trucks and other shop time activities were integral and indispensable to his primary job duties. The company apparently required the plaintiff to arrive 15 minutes before his scheduled start time of 7:00 a.m. to load trucks with tools and other materials.
The company in this case argued that the plaintiff was properly paid for shop time activities through receipt of a monthly attendance bonus, but the plaintiff responded by stating that the nature and timing of those payments did not satisfy FLSA requirements and that there were several months where the company didn’t provide him with the bonus. The court agreed with the plaintiff, and even found that the bonus supported the plaintiff’s case because the company paid the bonus without any regard to the number of days worked or the amount of time spent doing shop time work.
Compensable Time Under FLSA
Under FLSA, the workweek ordinarily includes all time during which an employee is required to be at the workplace or on duty. The workday means the period between the time on any particular day when an employee starts his or her principal activity and the time that that activity ends. The workday may be longer that the employee’s scheduled shift, hours, tour of duty, or production line time.
Employers often fail to recognize and count certain hours worked as compensable hours under FLSA. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you have been deprived of your wage rights because an employer failed to properly count the time you spent at work as compensable time. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer.
There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.