Why All Employees Should Keep Track of Hours Worked

posted by Neil E. Klingshirn | November 01, 2016 in Employment Law

Steven Robinson was a maintenance worker at Roberts Hotels Management Detroit (RHMD). Although Robinson was considered a salaried employee during his time with RHMD, the company subsequently stipulated that he was actually subject to FLSA’s overtime requirements. However, RHMD did not contemporaneously record how many hours Robinson worked per week. After his termination, Robinson sued RHMD, alleging that he worked 52 hours per week throughout his employment and that he never received overtime pay. Robinson offered his own testimony, his wife’s testimony and his “barely legible” handwritten notes to prove that he worked overtime hours. The notes stated the days on which Robinson worked and generally specified the time when Robinson reported to work, but they never specified when Robinson left work.

Following a bench trial, the District Court ruled that Robinson did not satisfy his burden that he worked overtime hours: “The employee must satisfy that burden even where, as here, the employer has failed to record hours as required by the FLSA.” The court found that Robinson’s evidence was not credible, due to inconsistencies between his verbal testimony and handwritten notes. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.

Generally, for unpaid overtime claims in which the employer does not keep a record of hours worked, the courts will accept employee records as valid, unless the credibility of the records comes into question (as the aforementioned case demonstrates).  It is therefore important for all employees to keep a detailed record of their time.

This is general legal information and is not offered as specific legal advice.  Do not rely on this information to make decisions about your rights.  If you have questions about potential overtime claims, contact an attorney.

Robinson v. Roberts Hotels Mgmt., ___ Fed. Appx. ___ (6th Cir., Oct. 13, 2016)

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