Q: If I am required to sleep at work for a "sleep shift" is it considered hours worked?
I work at a residential addiction treatment facility in Utah. I work less than 24 hours per day. One or two nights per week I am required to do a "sleep shift". A 9.25 hour period in which I am required to sleep at the facility in case of an emergency with any of the clients. The thinking is that if a client needs to be transported to the hospital by a staff member it is better to have someone that has been sleeping do so. For this shift I am paid a total of $75 which is less than my normal hourly rate of pay and the hours are not calculated for overtime purposes. Unless I am mistaken, this is not in line with FLSA. Can anyone confirm or correct my understanding? Thank you.
A: Assuming you work less than 24 hours per day during your sleep shifts (i.e. normal shift + sleep shift = less than 24 hours total), then your employer must abide by the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA. The federal and Utah minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, so your pay for the sleep shift doesn't violate the FLSA's minimum wage provision ($75 / 9.25 hours = 8.11 per hour). However, your hours worked during your sleep shift need to be counted for purposes of determining both your overtime rate and how many overtime hours you work during a 7-day workweek.
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