Info You Can Use: Shall I Pay Thee?

Our friends at the Non Profit Law Blog linked to a presentation intended to be a guide about compensated time for non-profits. The reason the presenter, Veneable LLP, this is so important is because issues related to compensable time are becoming increasingly prevalent.

– Employers are failing to identify, record, and compensate “off-the-clock” hours spent by employees performing compensable, job-related activities.

– One third of surveyed respondents indicated that their organization had been hit with a wage and hour claim in the past year.

– Today, wage and hour class actions outnumber all other discrimination class actions combined.

– According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 80 percent of employers are out of compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws.

The presentation is in PDF format so you can proceed at your own speed and there is a helpful chart at the end that summarizes it all. The laws about compensable time are a little tricky, especially related to travel.

Among the topics the presentation addresses:

      -If an employee works unauthorized over time, do you have to pay them? (Yep)

-Waiting time vs. Off Duty – Do you have to pay an employee who is waiting for a task? (phone to ring, machine to be fixed, package to arrive)

-Difference between compensable and non-compensable “on-call” statuses

-Are employees paid when they attend lecture/training/conference/meeting?

-How comp time can be used in lieu of over time pay

-Are employees paid if they are encouraged to perform work/volunteering for a charity?

-Is your internship program legal?

-What types of travel require compensation? What types don’t? Are employees paid for work they complete on their laptops while traveling?

-If an employee is required to take their work-issued Blackberry or other work related equipment home with them, is any compensation needed?

-Do you have to pay employees if a snow storm makes the street impassable for two days?

As I mentioned, some of these issues are a little tricky and nuanced. Those dealing with employees who do a lot of traveling may find it useful to download the guide as a quick reference. I could quote you back the answers on a lot of these issues, but I would be hard pressed to explain all the travel rules.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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