In January of 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky decided a case involving a Kentucky FLSA overtime case which focused on travel regulations and “gap time”. (See Bassett v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 2015 WL 2902821 (W.D. Ky. 2015)).
This Kentucky FLSA overtime case was a class action lawsuit. An initial issue was whether the court was going to go back 2 years or 3 years under the Fair Labor Standards Act. (“FLSA”). There was also an issue as to whether there would be any equitable tolling.
The court cited other cases that stated a defendant did not waive statute of limitations defense by moving for summary judgment more than six years after the case commenced where the defense was included in the answer. Id. The court held that the plaintiff was on notice of their defense and it was not waived in this case. The court did note that in the discovery the plaintiffs were on notice of the travel issue as it was discussed regularly with a supervisor. Id. The court decided it needed more information. The plaintiffs’’ Kentucky FLSA overtime lawyer would have to get this information to the court.
The next issue was ‘travel away from home community’. If an employee regularly works from 9am to 5pm from Monday through Friday the travel time during these hours is work time on Saturday and Sunday as well as on the other days. Id. Regular meal period time is not counted. Id. As an enforcement policy the Divisions will not consider as work time that time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile. Id.
As to the plaintiff’s Kentucky FLSA overtime issue as to travel time, the court declined the plaintiff’s Kentucky FLSA overtime lawyer’s interpretation of 29 C.F.R. section 785.39. Travel time is only compensable if occurring during regular working hours on normal working days or corresponding hours on nonworking days. Id. The court reiterated many times that a plaintiff in this Kentucky FLSA overtime class action case had to be found to be entitled to recover for travel time in this case only for travel that occurred during regular working hours on working days or during corresponding hours on nonworking days. If travel occurred partly inside and partly outside those hours, a plaintiff can recover only for the travel time that occurred inside those hours. Id.
Finally, as to the gap time issue, this court held that “an employee who has not worked overtime has no claim under the FLSA for hours worked below the 40 hour overtime threshold, unless the hourly wage falls below the federal minimum wage.” (cites omitted). And with regard to this issue, the employer is entitled to offset the premium wage against the time and half wage required by statute. Id. This is something the Kentucky FLSA overtime lawyer had to take into consideration.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky FLSA overtime case, please call and speak to a Kentucky FLSA overtime lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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