Off-The-Clock Work

If you are paid hourly, the more you work, the more money you make. Makes sense, right? But, implicit in this statement is that the amount of time you spend working is accurately recorded for payroll purposes. If it’s not, then, what is otherwise an obvious truism (more work = more $$) fails. When you work but some of the time spent working is not accurately recorded, it is referred to as “off-the-clock work”. It is illegal.

Law suits to recover off-the-clock wages usually come in 3: unpaid overtime claims, unpaid minimum wage claims, and what is referred to as “gap-time” claims or law suits under state law to recover unpaid wages that are not overtime or minimum wages. The following examples are illustrative:

Employee 1 is paid $20 per hour and always is paid for 40 hours per week. The same employee always works at least 2 extra hours per week off-the-clock, in addition to the 40 for which he is paid, (company policy is that hourly employees are prohibited from working more than 40 hours per week but there is work to do and the employee fears termination if the work does not get done).

Employee 2 is paid minimum wage and always is paid for 40 hours per week. The same employee always works at least 2 extra hours per week off-the-clock, in addition to the 40 for which he is paid, (company policy is that hourly employees are prohibited from working more than 40 hours per week but there is work to do and the employee fears termination if the work does not get done).

Employee 3 is paid $20 per hour and is paid for 30 hours per week. The same employee really works 32 hours per week because she always sign out of work and then gets called at home to do more work.

In the first example, federal and state law require that employees be paid at 150% of their regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40. Employee 1 is paid for 40 hours, but works an additional 2 without pay. These additional 2 hours are unpaid overtime. In the second example, not only are the additional 2 hours unpaid overtime, but, they also bring Employee 2’s wages below minimum wage in violation of federal and state laws.  In the third example; however, the overtime and minimum wage laws are not implicated. However, under state law, the employee can for unpaid wages.

If you do work off-the-clock and are not paid for it, The Harman Firm, LLP wants to speak to you.

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