Compensable Time Exercise
1. An employee of a fast food chain has to arrive at work 15 minutes early to change into the
“mascot” costume, and it typically takes another 15 minutes at the end of the shift to change
out of the costume and properly store it. Due to the cost of the costume, employees are not
allowed to take the costume home. The “mascots” typically work from 10 am – 2 pm, to cover
the lunch rush periods. How much time would be “compensable” for the mascots, assuming the
conditions/schedule listed above?
2. George is a Radiology Technician at a local hospital and when on call, is required to be no
further than 30 minutes away from the facility. Is the “on call” time, compensable?
3. Alice works as an Order Processor at a local retail store. She is an hourly employee and her start
time is 8 am. However, she likes to arrive at least 20 minutes early to organize her desk, check
emails and answer any voicemails that came in after her shift ended the day before. What time
would her “compensable time” begin?
4. Tricia is an Administrative Assistant, and her job requires her to travel from one location to
another during her normal workday. She uses her car and is reimbursed for mileage. She spends
approximately 1 hour per week traveling. Tricia lives only 2 miles from her primary location – A,
but lives 10 miles from the furthest location – B. Is her travel time compensable when she is
traveling from either Location A or Location B?
5. Ron and Tim both work as landscapers during the summer months. Due to the heat, the
scheduled start time is 7 am. Typically though, the crew leader is late, and most days they do
not start work until 7:30 or 8 am. Ron likes to catch a quick nap while he waits. However, Tim
usually will pick up a broom or clean to pass the time. What time would his “compensable time”
begin for Ron and Tim (assume that 7:45 is the average start time)?
6. Jane is a Senior Help Desk Technician that is considered a non-exempt employee. Her normal
work hours are Monday-Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Because she is the primary “escalation
person” for her company, she is required to carry a company cell phone with her until 10 pm,
Monday – Friday when she is not at work. Escalated calls occur on an ad-hoc basis, and she does
not have any additional restrictions, she simply needs to answer the calls if they come in. Is this
“on-call” time, compensable?
7. John is a Training Specialist for a retail operation in Omaha, NE. His normal hours are 8 am – 5
pm Monday-Friday with an hour for lunch. Due to a system upgrade, John has had to travel to
multiple locations to train staff on the upgrades. The following travel occurred within a pay
period. His supervisor questioned John about this; John replied that because he was traveling
for work, he was “on the clock” and therefore should be paid for it. For items A and B, how
many “compensable hours” does John have?
a. Fort Worth, TX by airplane – John left on a Monday morning at 8 am and returned on
Tuesday at noon and did not return to work that day. John recorded the following hours
for his timecard: Monday = 16 hours (8 am – midnight) and Tuesday = 12 hours
(midnight – 12 pm).
b. Kansas City, MO by car – John left on Wednesday morning at 8 am, arrived in KC by 11
pm, conducted the training and left KC by 5 pm. John arrived back in Omaha at 8 pm.
John recorded the following hours on his timecard: Wednesday = 12 hours (8 am – 8
8. Toby works a Call Center Representative. He works from 7 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday with
30 minutes for lunch. He also typically takes several “mini-breaks” during the day to smoke.
These breaks typically range from 5-10 minutes in length, and he would typically take at least,
one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Toby prefers to eat his lunch at his desk. However
he also tends to answer questions from his manager and even his co-workers throughout his
lunch, because he is the senior representative on that team. This occurred for at least a year.
Toby recently was let go because due to a downsizing in the department. Toby called his former
manager, Kelly and stated that he was owed 30 minutes of pay for the past year because
technically he was doing work while eating. Kelly stated that this was not correct, he was on a
lunch break and answering questions was completely voluntary. She went on to state that even
if he was working during lunch, she never “charged” him for his breaks, so if he wanted to make
an issue out of the lunch breaks, she would bring up the “smoke breaks,” and then he might owe
the company money.
a. Does Toby have a legitimate “compensable time” claim? Why or why not?
b. Does Kelly have a legitimate counter “compensable time” claim? Why or why not?
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Compensable Time Exercise
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