Were you fired for working off the clock?
If there’s one aspect that many business owners don’t give a lot of attention, it’s working off the clock. If you need guidance, give us a call today for a free consultation.
Fired for working off the clock?
If there’s one aspect that many business owners don’t give a lot of attention, it’s work off the clock. Work beyond the permitted shift hours could expose your business to wage liability if you fail to pay for the job or exclude it from overtime pay. It does not matter whether you ask an employee to work off the clock or voluntarily accomplish the tasks.
Off The Clock Meaning: What Does FLSA Say About Working Off The Clock?
Work off the clock is generally defined as work an employee does for an employer, but the employer does not pay even though they require or allow the worker to do the tasks. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to consider all “hours worked” when calculating wages and overtime pay.
The hours worked must include every hour an employee spends on work-related tasks that benefit the employer, regardless of work. It can be on the employer’s premises, at home, designated workplace, or any other location.
The FLSA only covers non-exempt employees. Your business has a legal duty to pay the minimum wage and overtime to qualifying non-exempt workers. The overtime rate must be at least one-and-a-half (1.5) times your employee’s regular rates, and it should be applied to hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
Non-exempt workers are typically salaried employees who make less than $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 annually). However, if their job description includes performing executive or administrative duties, they become exempt.
Other exempt under the FLSA include computer employees, highly compensated employees, professional employees, outside sales, and farm workers.
Examples Of Work Off The Clock
Job sectors and employers have varying forms of work off the clock. Some business owners might be committing off the clock violations without knowing it. It is advisable to consult an employment lawyer to learn more about the common violations in your business type.
Generally, though, here are some of the common examples of work off the clock.
· Rework: Employers must consider the time a worker spends correcting mistakes in his or her work.
· Waiting for work: When an employee reports to work as required by the employer, but they need to wait for a task, the waiting time must count towards hours worked.
· Pre-shift work: Unpaid pre-shift work can take many forms, such as reporting to work earlier to prepare safety equipment or a worksite.
· Post-shift work: Business owners must pay employees for work completed after shifts, such as cleaning a worksite and returning equipment to the storage room.
· Lunch break work: It involves activities like reading emails, attending to customers physically, or answering their questions over the phone. Unpaid lunch break work is illegal.
· Administrative work: An employee can stay late to prepare reports, review documents, attend meetings, or undergo training. Such work should never go unpaid.
Consequences Of Work Off The Clock
Requiring or allowing employees to work off the clock without compensation can land your business in big trouble. If employees file unpaid wages and overtime lawsuits against your company, you will have to pay back every penny you owe them, plus liquidated damages. You can prevent this from happening by taking the time to understand the FLSA provisions and control employees’ work.
Contact An Overtime Attorney
If you are an employee and your employer refuses to pay for work off the clock, consult a knowledgeable overtime lawyer at The Hedgpeth Law Firm, PC. We are ready to answer your questions, help you determine whether you are a non-exempt employee, and file a claim for back pay on your behalf.