When you perform work for your employer, you deserve to be paid. The sad reality, though, is that many employers try to cheat workers out of their pay by utilizing a number of illegal tactics. One of those strategies is requiring workers to perform their duties while off the clock, which employers may utilize to avoid applicable overtime laws.
How does off the clock work arise?
Some off the clock work is clearly mandated by an employer. Others subtly ask their employees to work off the clock. Yet, requiring an employee to work even a few minutes off the clock is illegal, as that time should be compensable. Here are some common situations when off the clock work arises:
- Cleaning up and storing equipment after finishing a shift
- Wrapping up administrative tasks such as finalizing paperwork at the end of the day
- Correcting mistakes on a project when requested to do so by the employer
- Cutting meal or rest breaks short at an employer’s bequest in order to finish up tasks
- Performing pre-shift work such as preparing for a shift to start or a business to open
When is your employer accountable?
Your employer is accountable if it requests that you perform off the clock work and doesn’t compensate you for it. However, it’s important to realize that employers aren’t always so explicit with off the clock work. Oftentimes they simply ask employees if they’re willing to help out with pre-shift or post-shift work despite a company policy that an employee can’t clock in until the actual start of their shift and must clock out at the end of their shift. However, these requests by your employer are probably still illegal.
Stand up to protect your employee rights
You work hard for your wages. Therefore, you shouldn’t let your employer cheat you out of what you deserve. This may mean taking legal action, but successfully doing so is going to mean knowing the law, gathering evidence, and presenting compelling legal arguments. If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to best position yourself on a wage and hour claim, then we encourage you to reach out to a legal professional you can trust.