Bona fide meal periods of 30 minutes or more are not work time. Bona fide meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks. These are rest periods. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily 30 minutes or more is long enough for a bona fide meal period. The employee is not relieved if they are required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. For example, an office employee who is required to eat at their desk or a factory worker who is required to be at their machine is working while eating.
(d) Sleeping time and certain other activities.
Under certain conditions an employee is considered to be working even though some of their time is spent in sleeping or in certain other activities.
“Home care premises" means premises or locations, including group homes, in which the employer is acting either directly or indirectly as an agent to provide home care services for an elderly person, a person with a disability, a person otherwise in need of care and assistance in the home, or for the family of such a person.
“Homelike environment" means facilities, including private quarters as defined in par. (f)
, and also including facilities for cooking and eating on the same premises; for bathing in private; and for recreation, such as television. The amenities and quarters shall be suitable for long-term residence by individuals and shall be similar to those found in typical private residence or apartment, rather than those found in institutional facilities such as dormitories, barracks, and short-term facilities for travelers.
“Off-duty" means the time period during which the employee is completely relieved from duty and is free to leave the home care premises or otherwise use the time for his or her benefit.
“On-duty" means the period of time the employee is required to be on the home care premises or otherwise working for the employer.
“Private quarters" means living quarters that are furnished, are separate from the clients and from any other staff members, have as a minimum the same furnishings available to clients, such as bed, table, chair, lamp, dresser, closet, and in which the employee is able to leave his or her belongings during on-duty and off-duty periods.
An employee who is required to be on duty for less than 24 hours is working even though they are permitted to sleep or engage in other personal activities when not busy. A telephone operator, for example, who is required to be on duty for specified hours is working even though they are permitted to sleep when not busy answering calls. It makes no difference that they are furnished facilities for sleeping. Their time is given to their employer. They are required to be on duty and the time is work time.
Where an employee is required to be on duty for 24 consecutive hours or more, the employer and the employee pursuant to a mutual written agreement may agree to exclude bona fide meal periods and a bona fide regularly scheduled sleeping period of not more than 8 hours from hours worked per 24-hour period, provided adequate sleeping facilities are furnished by the employer and the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted night's sleep. If the sleeping period is more than 8 hours, only 8 hours shall be credited per 24-hour period. Where no written agreement to the contrary is present, the 8 hours of sleeping time and lunch periods constitute hours worked. If the sleeping period is interrupted by a call to duty, the interruption shall be counted as hours worked. Employers may take credit for board and lodging as prescribed by s. DWD 272.03 (3)
, whichever is applicable. Record keeping requirements provided in s. DWD 272.11
If the sleeping period is interrupted by a call to duty, the interruption must be counted as hours worked. If the period is interrupted to such an extent that the employee cannot get a reasonable night's sleep, the entire period must be counted.
Employees residing on employer's premises, home care premises or working at home. An employee who resides on his or her employer's premises or home care premises on a permanent basis or for extended periods of time is not considered as working all the time he or she is on the premises. Ordinarily, the employees may engage in normal private pursuits and thus have enough time for eating, sleeping, entertaining, and other periods of complete freedom from all duties when he or she may leave the premises for purposes of his or her own. It is of course difficult to determine the exact hours worked under these circumstances and any reasonable written agreement of the parties which takes into consideration all of the pertinent facts shall be accepted.
When an employee who provides home care services does not maintain his or her permanent residence on the home care premises and does not otherwise reside on the premises 7 days a week, the department shall consider an employee who sleeps in private quarters, in a homelike environment, to reside on the premises for an extended period of time within the meaning of par. (d)
4, if the employee resides on the premises for a period of at least 120 hours in a workweek.
An employee shall be found to reside on the premises for extended periods of time if both of the following apply: the employee is on duty at the home care premises and is compensated for at least 8 hours in each of 5 consecutive 24-hour periods; and the employee sleeps on the premises for all sleep periods between the beginning and end of the 120 hour period. Any 24-hour period can be utilized, and the 8 compensated hours per 24-hour period need not be consecutive. An employee who is on duty and compensated for the period 5:00 p. m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Saturday, and who sleeps on the premises (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) for all sleep periods from Monday night through Friday night, has been compensated for at least 8 hours in 5 consecutive 24-hour periods between 5:00 p.m. Monday and 5:00 p.m. Saturday. The employee would also have slept 5 consecutive nights on the premises. Provided the other conditions were met, this would be considered to be residing on the premises for an extended period of time. An employee who is on duty and is compensated from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and who sleeps Monday through Thursday nights on the premises, would be considered to reside on the premises for extended periods of time. These employees are called “full-time" employees.
Where one or more employees meet the “full-time employee residing on the premises test" of subd. 5. b.
, the department shall apply the provisions of par. (d) 4.
to one or more “relief" employees who reside on the premises for 1 to 3 nights, provided these employees are on duty and are compensated for at least 8 hours in each 24-hour period in question and sleep on the premises all intervening nights. Although it is anticipated that there will be no more than one relief employee for each full-time employee, it is possible that there may be more then one. To come within the provisions the relief employee shall be relieving a full-time employee. That is, the full-time employee and the employee or employees relieving that employee may not be on duty for more than a combined total of 7 days and 7 nights in each workweek. A part-time employee shall not be considered a relief employee if that employee and the full-time employee being relieved are on duty simultaneously for more than one hour a day.
In order to deduct sleep time for full-time and relief employees, the employees shall be provided private quarters in a homelike environment. A reasonable agreement shall be reached, in advance, regarding compensable time. The employer and the employee may agree to exclude up to 8 hours per night of uninterrupted sleep time. They may also agree to exclude a period of off-duty time during the day when the employee is completely relieved of all responsibilities. These exclusions shall be the result of an employe-employer agreement and not a unilateral decision of the employer. Such an agreement should normally be in writing to preclude any possible misunderstanding of the terms and conditions of the individual's employment.
Where sleep time is to be deducted, the employer should determine if the following criteria are met: the employer and the employee have reached agreement in advance that sleep time is being deducted; adequate sleeping facilities with private quarters were furnished; if interruptions occurred, employees got at least 5 hours of sleep during the scheduled sleeping period; employees are compensated for any interruptions in sleep; and no more than 8 hours of sleep time is deducted for each full 24-hour on-duty period.
Sleep time may not be deducted for relief or other part-time employees who are not relieving a full-time employee, unless such employees are themselves on duty for 24 hours or more as provided in subd. 3.
An off-duty period during a weekday for such employees breaks an on-duty period for the purposes of subd. 3.
For example, a duty period from 5:00 p.m. of one day to 5:00 p.m. the following day, during which an employee has uncompensated free time between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. of the on-duty period, is not considered to be a 24-hour period.
The term “principal activities"includes all activities which are an integral part of a principal activity. Two examples of what is meant by an integral part of a principal activity are the following:
In connection with the operation of a lathe, an employee will frequently, at the commencement of their workday, oil, grease, or clean their machine, or install a new cutting tool. Such activities are an integral part of the principal activity, and are included within such term.
In the case of a garment worker in a textile mill, who is required to report 30 minutes before other employees report to commence their principal activities, and who during such 30 minutes distributes clothing or parts of clothing at the workbenches of other employees and gets machines in readiness for operation by other employees, such activities are among the principal activities of such employee. Such preparatory activities are compensable under this chapter.
Among the activities included as an integral part of the principal activity are those closely related activities which are indispensable to its performance. If an employee in a chemical plant, for example, cannot perform their principal activities without putting on certain clothes, changing clothes on the employer's premises at the beginning and end of the workday would be an integral part of the employee's principal activity. On the other hand, if changing clothes is merely a convenience to the employee and not directly related to their principal activities, it would be considered as a “preliminary" or “postliminary" activity rather than a principal part of the activity. However, activities such as checking in and out and waiting in line to do so would not ordinarily be regarded as integral parts of the principal activity or activities.
DWD 272.12(2)(f)1.1. General.
Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time if the following 4 criteria are met:
The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee's job; and
2. Involuntary attendance.
Attendance is not voluntary, of course, if it is required by the employer. It is not voluntary in fact if the employee is given to understand or led to believe that their present working conditions or the continuance of their employment would be adversely affected by nonattendance.
Training directly related to employee's job. The training is directly related to the employee's job it if is designed to make the employee handle their job more effectively as distinguished from training them for another job, or to a new or additional skill. For example, stenographers who are given a course in stenography are engaged in an activity to make them a better stenographer. Time spent in such a course given by the employer or under their auspices is hours worked. However, if the stenographers take a course in bookkeeping, it may not be directly related to their job. Thus, the time they spend voluntarily in taking such a bookkeeping course, outside of regular working hours, need not be counted as working time. Where a training course is instituted for the bona fide purpose of preparing for advancement through upgrading the employee to a higher skill, and is not intended to make the employee more efficient in their present job, the training is not considered directly related to the employee's job even though the course incidentally improves their skill in doing their regular work.
4. Independent training.
Of course, if an employee on their own initiative attends an independent school, college or independent trade school after hours, the time is not hours worked for their employer even if the courses are related to their job.
5. Apprenticeship training.
As an enforcement policy, time spent in an organized program of related, supplemental instruction by employees working under bona fide apprenticeship programs may be excluded from working time if the following criteria are met:
The apprentice is employed under a written apprenticeship agreement or program which substantially meets the fundamental standards of the bureau of apprenticeship standards of the department of workforce development, and
Such time does not involve productive work or performance of the apprentice's regular duties. If the above criteria are met the time spent in such related supplemental training shall not be counted as hours worked unless the written agreement specifically provides that it is hours worked. The mere payment or agreement to pay for time spent in related instruction does not constitute an agreement that such time is hours worked.
DWD 272.12(2)(g)1.1. General.
The principles which apply in determining whether or not time spent in travel is working time depend upon the kind of travel involved.
2. Home to work; ordinary situation.
An employee who travels from home before their regular workday and returns to their home at the end of the workday is engaged in ordinary home to work travel which is a normal incident of employment. This is true whether they work at a fixed location or at different job sites. Normal travel from home to work is not work time.
3. Home to work in emergency situations.
There may be instances when travel from home to work is work time. For example, if an employee who has gone home after completing their day's work is subsequently called out at night to travel a substantial distance to perform an emergency job for one of their employer's customers, all time spent on such travel is working time.
4. Home to work on special one-day assignment in another city.
A problem arises when an employee who regularly works at a fixed location in one city is given a special one-day work assignment in another city. Such travel cannot be regarded as ordinary home-to-work travel occasioned merely by the fact of employment if performed for the employer's benefit and at their special request to meet the needs of the particular and unusual assignment. It would thus qualify as an integral part of the “principal" activity which the employee was hired to perform on the workday in question; it is like travel involved in an emergency call, or like travel that is all in the day's work. All the time involved, however, need not be counted. Since, except for the special assignment, the employee would have had to report to their regular work site, the travel between their home and the railroad depot may be deducted, it being in the “home-to-work" category. Also, of course, the usual meal time would be deductible.
5. Travel that is all in the day's work.
Time spent by an employee in travel as part of their principal activity, such as travel from job site to job site during the workday, must be counted as hours worked. Where an employee is required to report at a meeting place to receive instructions or to perform other work there, or to pick up and to carry tools, the travel from the designated place to the workplace is part of the day's work, and must be counted as hours worked regardless of contract, custom, or practice. If an employee normally finished their work on the premises at 5 p.m. and is sent to another job which they finish at 8 p.m. and is required to return to their employer's premises arriving at 9 p.m. all of the time is working time. However, if the employee goes home instead of returning to their employer's premises, the travel after 8 p.m. is home-to-work travel and is not hours worked.
6. Travel away from home community.
Travel time away from the home community for business purposes that occurs for the benefit of the employer is considered hours worked.
7. When private automobile is used in travel away from home community.
If an employee is offered public transportation but requests permission to drive their car instead, the employer may count as hours worked either the time spent driving the car or the time they would have had to count as hours worked during working hours if the employee had used the public conveyance.
8. Work performed while traveling.
Any work which an employee is required to perform while traveling must of course be counted as hours worked. An employee who drives a truck, bus, automobile, boat or airplane, or an employee who is required to ride therein as an assistant or helper, is working while riding, except during bona fide meal periods or when the employee is permitted to sleep in adequate facilities furnished by the employer.
(h) Adjusting grievances, medical attention, civic and charitable work, and suggestion systems. DWD 272.12(2)(h)1.1. Adjusting grievances.
Time spent in adjusting grievances between an employer and employees during the time the employees are required to be on the premises is hours worked, but in the event a bona fide union is involved the counting of such time will, as a matter of enforcement policy, be left to the process of collective bargaining or to the custom or practice under the collective bargaining agreement.
2. Medical attention.
Time spent by an employee in waiting for and receiving medical attention on the premises or at the direction of the employer during the employee's normal working hours on days when they are working, constitutes hours worked.
3. Civic and charitable work.
Time spent in work for public or charitable purposes at the employer's request, or under their direction or control, or while the employee is required to be on the premises, is working time. However, time spent voluntarily in such activities outside of the employee's normal working hours is not hours worked.
4. Suggestions systems.
Generally, time spent by employees outside of their regular working hours in developing suggestions under a general suggestion system is not working time, but if employees are permitted to work on suggestion during regular working hours the time spent must be counted as hours worked. Where an employee is assigned to work on the development of a suggestion, the time is considered hours worked.
DWD 272.12 History
Cr. Register, July, 1978, No. 271
, eff. 8-1-78; corrections in (2) (f) 5. a. made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 6., Stats., Register, August, 1987, No. 380
cr. (2) (d) 1. and 5., am. (2) (d) 3. a. and 4., Register, February, 1996, No. 482
, eff. 3-1-96; emerg. r. and recr. (2) (g) 6. eff 6-1-05; CR 05-056
: r. and recr. (2) (g) 6. Register August 2005 No. 596
, eff. 11-1-05; correction in (2) (f) 5. a. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6., Stats., Register February 2009 No. 638.
DWD 272.13 Forms.
The following forms are listed in accordance with s. 227.23
, Stats. These forms are issued by and may be obtained from the Equal Rights Division, Department of Workforce Development, P. O. Box 8928, Madison, Wisconsin, 53708.
LS-37, Application for Subminimum Wage License. This particular form is used for both handicapped workers and student learners. WH-226 is the application for a sheltered workshop to employ handicapped workers at a subminimum wage. WH-227 is a supplement data sheet for sheltered workshop certificate. WH-247 is an application for a certificate for a training or evaluation program in a sheltered workshop. WH-249 is an application for a special individual rate in a sheltered workshop.
DWD 272.13 History
Cr. Register, July, 1978, No. 271
, eff. 8-1-78; corrections in (intro.) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 6., Stats., Register, August, 1987, No. 380
; am. (intro.) and (1), Register, May, 1997, No. 497
, eff. 6-1-97.
DWD 272.14 Prohibition of displacement.
An employer may not displace an employee solely for the purpose of hiring an employee to be paid the opportunity wage.
DWD 272.14 History
Cr. Register, November, 1997, No. 503
, eff. 12-1-97.