Your employer violates federal and state wage laws by asking you to work off the clock. Taking calls or answering emails from home or outside of normal working hours while you are not clocked in is actually working time for which your employer must pay you.
The lines between work and non-work have become blurred with technology and the global pandemic which has resulted in many more employees working from outside the office. Even working a few minutes while not being clocked in violates the wage laws. This time may seem insignificant, but this time adds up over the course of weeks and months.
Is Your Employer Asking You to Work Off the Clock?
Employers ask their employees to work off the clock all the time. For example, can you come in for a few hours on Saturday? Will you stop off on your way to work to pick something up? Answering emails and taking phone calls while not clocked in is also working off the clock.
All too often, employees are willing to do it or afraid not to, but employers that require employees to work off the clock violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage laws. Both federal and state wage law contain very specific requirements that employers must pay employees for all time worked..
It basically comes down to wage theft by the employer. If you make a claim to be paid for those worked hours, your employer can not use ignorance as an excuse. Employers are fully aware of what they are doing when they request you work without payment.
What Can I Do?
Ideally, there should be a policy in place where you work that clearly outlines what constitutes work time including overtime. Working off the clock without compensation is illegal. So, if your boss asks you to work off the clock, you can say no without repercussions.
You can always refuse to work the time if your employer asks you to work off the clock. . However, many employees are afraid to say no because they fear losing their job or receiving a pay cut. If you are asked, and agree, keep track of all the time you are working, even if it is a few minutes here and there. These records will help you establish your hours worked when you bring an unpaid wages claim.
Also, you should maintain all other records that establish that you worked off the clock. For example, you should keep any emails which show any request to work off the clock. Again, these records will assist you in proving your unpaid wages claim.
Saying No to Work Off the Clock
Don’t think you are getting yourself into your boss’s good graces by working off the clock. The employer is taking advantage of you. If you do it once, your employer will continue to ask you to work for free.
You can pursue a claim against the employer if it fires you or takes any adverse action against you for refusing to work off the clock. The best way to pursue such a claim is to contact an employment lawyer.
Contact An Employment Lawyer
If you feel like you are being taken advantage of, you can always talk to an employment lawyer. The employment lawyer will let you know your rights and help you navigate the situation.
Call us here today at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC to find out what you can do. It’s not fair to you to work off the clock. The law requires the employer pay you for all hours you work. You work hard for your money, so don’t let your employer steal your time and wages.