Regardless of the business, there’s usually more work to be done outside of regular hours. Oftentimes in the business world, employers are fortunate enough to have employees who are willing to put in the extra work when needed. Unfortunately, requiring or allowing that extra work can also give rise to wage and hour violations.
Inadvertent dangers of off-the-clock work
Off-the-clock work is common in many occupations. Any of the following could be considered off the clock work:
- An employee is asked to show up before a shift to help set up a restaurant or other business for opening
- An employee performs work to help clean up after a shift
- An employee is asked to return equipment after a shift ends
- An employee is asked to finalize administrative tasks and other paperwork after their shift ends
- An employee is asked to redo or otherwise correct work outside of their working hours
The above are just a handful of situations in which hourly employees are asked to perform off-the-clock work.
Many employers have no intention of short-changing the employees’ wages – they are just simply looking to make sure the work as it pertains to their business is completed. However, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), employees who are paid on an hourly basis are entitled to receive at least the prevailing minimum wage for the extra worktime, and overtime (time and one-half) pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
Business owners and employees in all industries should be cognizant of this when it comes to working off-the-clock. Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to reach out to an attorney who understands the intricacies of the law.