Federal labor law may seem complicated to you at first glance. However, when you have the right information about the specifics of your case, you may find that the rules become much clearer. While there are certain exceptions, the general rules on hours worked would probably apply to you if you were an employee in Washington, DC.
You may want to use your Fair Labor Standards Act hours as a reference for a number of different types of disputes. Please find some guidelines on calculating your hours below, along with an example of how you might use the figure.
Hours worked under the FLSA may differ slightly from those reported on your timesheet. The reason: Your employer may improperly classify various types of compensable activity, such as unusually long commutes from other cities, time spent on call in the office, working lunches or any beneficial actions your employer lets you do outside of your regular schedule. Add your paid time and all of these qualifying hours together, and then you should have your FLSA total for the year.
You may find this final figure useful in a variety of situations. As stated by the Department of Labor, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) might require your employer to give you unpaid leave for pregnancy. If your FLSA hours were over 1,250 over a continuous 12-month period, the equivalent of roughly a 25-hour work week, then you could qualify for unpaid leave.
If your employer were to attempt to avoid the obligation to provide you with a break from work, you might be able to present your qualifying hours as part of your argument. If the resistance continued — especially in the case of pregnancy — you might rightly suspect another motive for non-compliance with the FMLA, such as sexual discrimination. Please do not think of this as legal advice. It is only general information. Some smaller employers are covered by state or local wage laws.