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FLSA Hours Worked Advisor

Your employee's sleep time is probably not hours worked.

If your employee is able to get five or more hours of sleep, the sleep time is not considered hour worked. However, you can only deduct the actual number of hours spent sleeping, up to a maximum of eight hours. For example, if your employee receives six hours of sleep, you can only deduct six hours for sleeping from the work period. This determination is made on the basis of what happens during each sleep period.

You can deduct a maximum of eight hours of sleeping time provided:

  • Your employee is on duty for 24 hours or more;
  • You and your employee have an express or implied agreement to exclude sleep time (up to eight-hour deduction);
  • You provide your employee with adequate sleeping facilities; and
  • Your employee can usually get an uninterrupted night's sleep (at least five consecutive hours). Note: An employee can “usually” get an uninterrupted night’s sleep if interruptions to sleep occur less than half the time, over a period of time. See Field Assistance Bulletin 2016-1

Even though your employee may sleep more than eight hours, a maximum of 8 hours can be deducted from the 24 hours he or she is required to be on duty. All interruptions of your employee's sleep must be counted as hours worked.

If you and your employee do not have such an agreement, sleep time may not be deducted.

For more information, please contact your local Wage and Hour District Office.

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