South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Overtime Pay May Not Be Required for Employees Required to Sleep at Work Facility
Description District court held that the overtime pay was not required when an employee was paid for working a regular forty hour week at a residential care facility and was also required to sleep at the facility. Because the employee agreed to the arrangement and it met federal standards, there was no overtime requirement.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Overtime Pay; Fair Labor Standards Act
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Ormsby worked for seven years at the Hunter House, a non-profit residential group home for the developmentally disabled located in Osage City, Kansas. He worked eight hours per day, Monday to Friday, and was paid for a regular forty-hour work week. As a part of his job, he was also required to be physically present from 10 pm to 5:30 am, Monday through Thursday. During this “sleep time” he had no specific duties, but had to be in the Hunter House. Ormsby sued for overtime pay, contending that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) had been violated because he was only paid for forty hours per week. Hunter House moved for summary judgment.
Decision

Motion granted. There was no violation of the FLSA. While Ormsby was not paid for “sleep time” he has expressly agreed to the work schedule when it was offered to him. An employer has a good faith defense in overtime cases if it can show that the act or omission complained of was: 1) done in good faith, 2) in conformity with, and 3) in reliance on written administrative regulation, order, ruling approval or interpretation of the Wage and Hour Division. This arrangement complied with a 1988 memorandum or enforcement policy drafted by the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor that concerns sleep time at residential care facilities. The Hunter House complied with that policy and had Ormsby’s agreement to stay overnight, so he has no suit.

Citation Ormsby v. C.O.F. Training Services, Inc., 194 F.Supp.2d 1177 (D. Kan., 2002)

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