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Ohio - Performing work duties before clocking in

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  • Ohio - Performing work duties before clocking in

    Hi all

    I am here because a supervisor has recently decided to tell us all to log into our machines and then launch and log into all the systems BEFORE the beginning of our shift so we can start working right away when the shift starts.

    The reason I'm here is that my previous employer would make a huge deal about us not doing this because they said they could be fined and that the moment you log into your computer you are working so it has to be on the clock.

    I reckon I don't use my username and password from work anywhere else or any of these systems so when I log into the computer with my work username and password and start pulling up systems and logging into them I am working and should be paid for it. So if my boss wants me to start logging into my systems 10 minutes before my shift begins, then I should be putting that in my time card, correct?

    I don't want to bring this up with my employer before I make sure what I'm saying holds some weight so what are your opinions or any insight you can offer about this?

  • #2
    Short answer is you start working when you start working. Longer answer is somewhat more complicated. Are you saying that if a government official was standing behind you with a stop watch that it would take exactly 10 minutes to login? No time for getting coffee or taking off your coat in there? I have been using computers for a long time and 10 minutes sounds high.

    Unrelated to that issue is a potential rounding issue. Not for 10 minutes but 7 minutes can be legally rounded to the nearest quarter hour if done consistently both ways. Meaning you have to prove that you are spending more then 7 minutes each morning of non-paid start up time.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      It takes about 3 mins to log into Windows and one of the systems we use takes about 5 minutes to launch after we put in the credentials and hit log in. All together, it takes around 10mins on average to get all the systems up and running before you can start taking calls (I work at a service desk call center).

      So this time we spend logging into various systems... Is this something we should be getting paid for?
      Last edited by hkmp5ks; 08-06-2014, 12:56 PM.

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      • #4
        It is hard to say. Deminimus activities which are not part of your actual work duties need not be paid. Logging onto the computer is iffy. At most, you would need to be compensated for the 5-10 minutes or so required to log in, subject of course to the rounding rules that DAW outlined above. It would be rare that something as minor as logging onto your computer would take long enough that it would result in compensable time, but not impossible.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          One concern I have is that I cannot perform job duties without launching up my systems. My systems are provided by my employer and are directly related to my job and nothing but my job, therefore I feel that my handling of these systems at any point constitutes work. What do you guys think?

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          • #6
            Something you do each and every day is not De Minimus under FLSA rules. If you can hard document that the average worker (not just you) really needs 10 minutes each and every day to do nothing but log in, then you have a pretty good argument for paid time. However, I have been on the other side of this argument at several companies. Our response was to video tape someone doing the "start of day" tasks. If we could show someone else doing the same tasks in 5 minutes or less, then game over under the rounding rules.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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            • #7
              I'm with DAW on this one..of it takes XX minutes to get a system started, or to don specialized clothing, or to get some piece of machinery on line...you are on the job once you start it....and I agree that if it's reasonable to get it up in 5 minutes...so be it ......I've been on other side too...where work practices were very sloppy with a lot of time to get ready to start and a lot of time to get ready to stop...management is entitled to run a right ship...I think your new procedure is a bit too far...my vote doesn't count but to me once you sit down and turn on the device you are on the clock or otherwise are under the dominion and control of management you are likely on the clock ....and we are not debating some old fashioned gate/ log in that is 1/4 mile from your work station.

              is this really a fuss you want to start? Downsides seem bigger than upsides to me ....

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              • #8
                Ohio Performing work duties before clocking in

                OP if you are that worried about committing AN INFRACTION, can I take it that you will never again drive over 65mph on the freeway either?

                Jamarlit, please pay attention to the dates on the posts you are replying to. It has been 3 years and 358 days since the last reply.
                Cactus Jack
                Last edited by cactus jack; 09-14-2017, 02:26 PM.

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