Many West Virginia employees and others around the nation have activities they must perform before or after their specified work shifts. For example, employees have to walk to and from their cars to get to their workplaces. This type of activity would not be considered as part of their principal work activities and would, therefore, not be compensated according to Department of Labor laws. However, some companies try to add other preliminary or postliminary activities to their staff members. One corporation in another state recently settled a lawsuit for unpaid work time involving activities before their employees’ designated work times.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, a major retail company, conducted searches of its employees and their bags following their shifts. According to a lawsuit, the company failed to pay employees for this time between Mar. 2011 and Jan. 2015. The lawsuit involved a class of over 10,500 current and former Dick’s employees. The lawsuit was settled for $2.9 million, and each employee should receive roughly $155 in the settlement.
The Supreme Court had previously ruled that only principal job activities are to be compensated. There are typically activities before or after an employee’s regular duties that are not paid. However, the amount of time should be considered de minimis. Companies should be careful in their requirements to request unpaid activities of hourly employees.
All employees should expect to receive compensation for the time they have worked. If someone has experienced a pattern of unpaid work time, he or she may wish to take action against an employer. Whether an individual or a group of workers, a West Virginia attorney familiar with employment law can provide assistance throughout the legal process.