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John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I am Safety Manager a illegle drug found in large workplace

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I am Safety Manager a illegle drug found in large workplace and as the last half of employees were leaving HR made me lock them in without pay. They said I was wrong and would be writen up. do we pay or not ? it was 30 to 45 minutes they stood in the sun when nothing could be done at that time anyway. TX
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. The Fair Labor Standards Act regulations would dictate that this is paid time. The regulation specifically states:

§ 785.15 On duty.
A stenographer who reads a book while waiting for dictation, a messenger who works a crossword puzzle while awaiting assignments, fireman who plays checkers while waiting for alarms and a factory worker who talks to his fellow employees while waiting for machinery to be repaired are all working during their periods of inactivity. The rule also applies to employees who work away from the plant. For example, a repair man is working while he waits for his employer's customer to get the premises in readiness. The time is worktime even though the employee is allowed to leave the premises or the job site during such periods of inactivity. The periods during which these occur are unpredictable. They are usually of short duration. In either event the employee is unable to use the time effectively for his own purposes. It belongs to and is controlled by the employer. In all of these cases waiting is an integral part of the job. The employee is engaged to wait. (See: Skidmore v. Swift, 323 U.S. 134, 137 (1944); Wright v. Carrigg, 275 F. 2d 448, 14 W.H. Cases (C.A. 4, 1960); Mitchell v. Wigger, 39 Labor Cases, para. 66,278, 14 W.H. Cases 534 (D.N.M. 1960); Mitchell v. Nicholson, 179 F. Supp, 292,14 W.H. Cases 487 (W.D.N.C. 1959))

As you can see from the regulation. The FLSA states it is work time, because the employees are engaged to wait, and cannot use the time freely. Thus, my thought is it these employees would have to be paid for the time.

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