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Understanding gap time and what it means for you

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Wage & Hour Laws

When it comes to employee compensation, there are many unique elements that employees may not understand. For example, gap time is often misunderstood or overlooked, but it can significantly impact your compensation.

It is important to understand what gap time is and how it affects you as an employee.

What is gap time?

Gap Time refers to the difference between the hours your employer pays for and the non-overtime hours you actually work. It occurs when an hourly employee works additional hours beyond their scheduled work time but does not exceed the 40-hour per week overtime threshold. If you do not receive compensation for these additional hours, that constitutes gap time.

How gap time affects your compensation

Although the Fair Labor Standards Act includes no provisions for gap time compensation, employees should understand how their gap time can affect overall compensation rates. If an employee works 34 compensated hours and 4 gap time hours, their total compensation must equal at least minimum wage for all of their hours worked. If their pay averaged across all 38 hours falls below minimum wage, they might be able to seek further compensation.

How can you protect your rights?

You should track all of your hours worked carefully, including time spent working off the clock. Review your pay stubs regularly to evaluate your compensation, especially as it applies to your total hours worked. Discuss any concerns with your employer or consider legal action if you feel that your employer has violated wage & hour laws.

By being aware of how gap time affects your pay and taking steps to address any issues, you can advocate for yourself in the workplace.