Employers Beware – The Third Circuit Strictly Construes the FLSA Regulations to Prevent Taking Credit to Offset Overtime Obligations with Amounts Paid Voluntarily for Bona Fide Meal Periods

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As employers prepare to implement the new federal Department of Labor regulations which, on December 1, 2016, will double the minimum salary required for many exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), employers should also consider revisiting how they are calculating hours worked for their nonexempt employees.

On October 7, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Smiley v. E.I. Dupont De Nemours and Company, No. 14-4583, held that employers cannot offset their obligation to pay nonexempt employees for pre- and post-work time with amounts they have voluntarily paid for meal breaks. The Third Circuit’s decision puts it at odds with at least two other circuit courts of appeals.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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