COURT SAYS CONTRACTOR MUST PAY FOREMAN FOR TRAVEL TIME FROM SHOP TO JOB SITE AND BACK

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a Fair Labor Standards Act ruling by the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, requiring a contractor to pay its hourly foreman for the time spent by the foremen at the contractor’s shop before and after their regular work at the job site, and for the time spent traveling to and from the shop before and after working at the job site. According to the Court, the activity engaged in by the foreman at the contractor’s shop before and after their work at the job site was such that the work day really began and ended at the contractor’s shop, not the job site. The Court further reasoned that because the work day began and ended at the contractor’s shop, the time spent travelling to the job site and back to the shop each day was also compensable. The Court based is conclusion on the fact that the foreman would arrive at the contractor’s shop each day to obtain equipment, materials, and crew assignments for use at the job site that day, and return in the evenings to fill out time sheets, unload and lock vehicles, and secure equipment. While Oklahoma is not in the Eighth Circuit’s jurisdiction, the position taken by one federal court on federal law issues is often informative regarding how other courts will address similar matters.

Steven K. Metcalf

This Newsletter addresses recent items of interest in various areas pertaining to the construction industry. While the Newsletter may alert you to potential problems or changes in the law, it does not attempt to offer solutions, opinions, or advice concerning specific problems. Such legal advice or opinion can only be given by an attorney after careful consideration of the facts unique to a given situation. Inquiries concerning this Newsletter or its subject matter should be directed to its contributors, Steven K. Metcalf, Esq. at (918) 430-3703 or William H. Spitler, Esq. at (918) 430-3704.