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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12469
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I'm employed with a private flight dept that is / charter in

Customer Question

Hello, I'm employed with a private flight dept that is for hire/ charter in California. I have recently been told I fall under the railroad labor act. I have been employed for 15 years as a salaried employee. Now they are telling me I have to clock my time to monitor my over time and clock in and out for lunch. does this sound right?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

The RLA applies to flight attendants for any airline company that holds itself out to the public as being willing to transport for hire, indiscriminately. A flight department that offers its services for hire/charter to the public would satisfy this definition. However, the Railroad Labor Act simply exempts covered employees from the laws requiring payment of overtime. Regardless of the applicability of those laws, an employer can require an employee to clock in and out. In fact it would be REQUIRED for flight attendants not covered under a union contract, as such employees are still entitled to minimum wage for all hours worked and without keeping track of hours it is impossible for the employer to prove that they paid at least minimum wage.

So, what your employer is now doing does "sound right." What I would question is whether you may have claims for denied rest and lunch breaks and perhaps also overtime as a result of receiving a straight salary this whole time. That is a completely separate issue, though. Under no circumstance would an employer be breaking the law by imposing these new requirements on you--in all likelihood this is what they had to do all along.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.