Wage Theft: Pilfering Paychecks, One Lunch at a Time
Levault, James D.
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The United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, is charged with enforcing the payment of minimum wage and overtime to employees. A common problem occurs when an employee performs work during their unpaid lunch. According to DOL regulations, an employee is entitled to payment for time worked whether they were requested to work or if the employer was completely unaware that work was being performed by the employee. Two tests are used to determine whether an employee should be paid for the work performed. The first test is the completely relieved of duty test and the second test is the predominant benefit test. The judicial circuits are split onto which test to use. This Note analyzes both of these tests and recommends the courts forgo the predominant benefit test and adopt the completely relieved of duty test for uniform enforcement across all jurisdictions.