Phillips & Associates

Controlled on Duty Time

Wage and Hour Lawyers Committed to Serving New York City Employees

For some jobs, there can be quite a bit of downtime. Although a restaurant is typically busy during the lunch and dinner rushes, for example, wait staff can find themselves with little to do between those time periods. This time is known as controlled on duty time. Employees are still entitled to compensation for controlled on duty time despite the lack of tasks or assignments that they may have. At Phillips & Associates, our wage and hour attorneys have advised numerous New York City employees whose employers failed to pay them for their controlled on duty time.

Understanding Controlled On Duty Time and Your Right to Payment

Controlled on duty time refers to the time that an employee may spend under the control of the employer that is not necessarily spent working on job-related tasks. In some instances, this time is referred to as compensable waiting time, or on-call time. Workers are particularly likely to have periods of this time throughout their work days in certain sectors, such as the restaurant and hotel industries. Some employers attempt to take advantage of controlled on duty time periods by claiming that the employee is not entitled to compensation because the employee was not performing any work. This is simply not true.

The State of New York has enacted a number of minimum wage orders that are designed to protect employees’ rights. According to the Minimum Wage Order for the Hotel Industry, for example, employees are entitled to compensation for working time, waiting time, and travel time. Working time consists of time spent performing actual services, or time spent traveling at the employer’s request from one work location to another. Waiting time consists of the time during which an employee is required or allowed to wait while no work is provided. An employee must be paid according to minimum wage requirements for this time and must be provided allowances for meal periods and rest breaks. Finally, travel time consists of the time that an employee must spend traveling from one of the employer’s establishments to another after the employee has arrived at work and the workday has begun. Time spent traveling must also be paid according to minimum wage requirements.

It is easy to confuse controlled on duty time with meal periods and rest breaks. Meal periods and rest breaks are not controlled on duty time. Instead, they are the time that an employee is provided in order to rest and eat. An employer typically does not have control of an employee during his or her rest breaks and meal periods, and it will likely be required to pay the employee overtime wages if the employee works through his or her meal periods and rest breaks.

Explore Your Options with an Employment Law Attorney in New York City

If you have reason to believe that your employer is not providing you with appropriate compensation for your controlled on duty time, we can help. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City lawyers are skilled in wage and hour as well as overtime claims. We can provide capable legal guidance to people throughout the five boroughs, including Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, who are trying to hold an employer accountable for infringing their rights. Our team can guide you through every step of the process and help you investigate a potential lawsuit. We offer a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Call us now at 1-212-248-7431 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107

Client Reviews
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen
I was a client with this law firm. I can't stress enough how awesome and professional the people are here. Silvia & Erica made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I never had to guess anything. Anytime I call, emailed, or even texted. They were always there. If not they would get back to me as soon as possible. My case was not an easy situation for me but I tell you these guys made it seem like it was. I'm so glad that I use Phillip & Phillip. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to have met such awesome, honest, and caring people. Thank you again. Djuana
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
I had an excellent experience with this team! Thanks, Marjorie, Brittany, and Candy for your great support and prompt answers to all my questions. I highly recommend this firm. This team works very hard and I am extremely happy with the results. Ana