Wage and Hour Employee & Worker's Rights
Off The Clock Work
Another tried and true method employers use to avoid paying employees all their wages is requiring off the clock work. In other words, employers will have employees do work before clocking in, or doing work after clocking out. Or, they may have employees on call or doing work and ask the employee not to log the time spent.
The follow examples illustrate examples of off the clock work.
Upon arrival at work, a factory worker is required to put on protective gear and clothing before clocking in and reporting to the production line. Employee clocks out then cleans up their work station and gets cleaned up. Employee in this situation is entitled to be paid for the time spent before clocking in and after clocking out.
Next, coffee shop employees opening the store set up and prepare supplies for the day before clocking in. Those closing down clock out and then clean the store and put away the unused food items before locking up. Both the opening and closing employees would be entitled to off the clock pay.
Fortunately, California law provides an expansive and robust definition of hours worked. California law defines hours worked for a nonexempt employee as any time in which you must be on duty, at the employer’s premises or at a particular worksite, and any time during which your employer is aware or should be aware of your working, whether or not it requires you to do so. Under California law, your employer must pay you at least minimum wage for off-the-clock work, including any unauthorized overtime, even if it did not ask you to do so, if it knew or should have known that you were working those hours.
In some cases, employers set payroll to automatically pay employees their wages for their scheduled work times, even when an employee may be under the employer’s control before or after a scheduled shift. This can result in a failure to pay workers for off-the-clock work.
If you believe you have been forced to work off the clock, or your business is facing such claims, please contact the wage and hour attorneys at Shalchi Burch LLP as soon as possible. Employees may be entitled to overtime, unpaid minimum wages and missed break premiums and penalties for inaccurate wage statements.