About Us

Can My Employer Legally Expect Me to Work Off the Clock?

What your employer expects and what they are legally able to ask of you are vastly different. For example, it is illegal for your employer to ask you to work any hours over your regular 40 hours per week without you recording those hours and the employer paying you for them.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is a federal law that has been put in place to protect workers’ wages in all states. The FLSA states that employees must be paid minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime for hour worked more than 40 hours a week. Some states have additional wage protections that exceed the FLSA. For example, California state law requires overtime pay when an hourly employee works more than eight hours per day.

What is Off The Clock Work?

Working off the clock is any time your employer asks employees to work and not record in the employer’s timekeeping system. Employers ask employees to work off the clock to avoid paying employees’ wages so that employers can save money. Examples of off the clock work include continuing to work at your office or jobsite after clocking out or before you clock in, making phone calls outside of the office while not clocked in, answering emails and/or texts without being clocked in, and booting up a computer before being clocked in. Another example is traveling for work without pay.

Employees also illegally work off the clock if the employer requires them to work through a meal period such as lunch after clocking out. This is common in the healthcare industry.

Working off the clock also can involve being asked to help a customer, make a delivery, load or unload a vehicle, cash out a till, drive someone someplace, or any other task that takes place beyond your regular work hours when the employee is not clocked into the employer’s timekeeping system.

The FLSA and state laws require that employers pay employees for all work time. Employers must compensate employees who are expected to take work home to finish it on their “own time.”


Employers frequently require employees to work without being clocked in to avoid paying employees’ wages. Many times, employees are afraid to say no to this unpaid work because they fear their employers will terminate their employment. This is common and employers are happy to take advantage of the situation.

Employees can legally refuse to work off the clock if their employer asks them to do so. You should track your off the clock work if you can so that you can later recover those wages due you.

Ask For Help

You should contact an employment lawyer if you believe your employer is taking advantage of you by working you off the clock. An employment lawyer can educate you about the employment laws and help you get any back wages or compensation you may be owed.

Contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC for more information or any help you may need with the lost or unpaid wages you are owed. Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC has successfully represented thousands of employees in off the clock cases to recover wages for work time for which employers initially failed to pay.