Have You Been Working “Off The Clock”?

If you were employed and you believe that you have not been paid all of the overtime pay, hourly wages, salary and other benefits that you believe you are owed by your employer, tell us your story!

-Report Unpaid Overtime & Wages-

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that all covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the minimum wage for all hours worked in their employ and that covered, nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours in the workweek (7 consecutive 24-hour periods or 168 consecutive hours) receive at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for the overtime hours (hours worked over 40 in a workweek).

What Does Employ Mean?

The FLSA defines the term “employ” to include the words “suffer or permit to work”. Suffer or permit to work means that if an employer requires or allows employees to work, the time spent is generally deemed to be hours worked.

What Is Working Off The Clock?

Time spent doing work not requested by the employer, but still allowed by the employer, is generally considered hours worked, since the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employees are continuing to work off the clock and the employer is benefiting from the work being done off the clock. This time is commonly referred to or known as “working off the clock.”

Common examples of working off the clock or hours worked under the FLSA (for which overtime pay is generally due) might include:

  • An employee who voluntarily continues to work at the end of regular working hours.
  • An employee who needs to finish an assigned task, prepare reports, finish waiting on a customer or take care of a patient in an emergency.
  • An employee who may take work home to complete in the evening or on weekends to meet a deadline.
  • An employee who checks, reads and/or reviews work-related emails (whether on a handheld PDA or wireless telephone device or on a home computer, etc.), or listens to work-related voicemail messages while away from the office or workplace
  • An employee who must correct mistakes in his or her work. The time must be treated as hours worked. The correction of errors, or “rework”, is hours worked, even when the employee voluntarily does the rework.
  • An employee who waits to do work. Time which an employee is required to be at work or allowed to work for his or her employer is hours worked. A person hired to do nothing or to do nothing but wait for something to do or something to happen is still working. Employees subject to the FLSA must be paid for all the time spent in physical or mental exertion (whether burdensome or not) controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer of his business.
  • An employee who spends time putting on or taking off (i.e., donning and doffing) protecting gear, clothing or uniforms (e.g., anti-static smocks, goggles, shoe strips, and hand strips) and waiting in line to have the gear, clothing or uniforms checked before they began their shifts.
  • Hours worked off the clock include all the time during which an employee is required or allowed to perform work for an employer, regardless of where the work is done, whether on the employer’s premises, at a designated work place, at home or at some other location.

    It is the duty of management to exercise control over their employees and see that work is not performed off the clock if the employer does not want it to be performed. An employer cannot sit back and accept the benefits of an employee’s off the clock work without considering the time spent to be hours worked. Merely making a rule against such off the clock work is not enough. The employer has the power to enforce the off the clock rule and must make every effort to do so. Employees generally may not volunteer to perform work without the employer having to count the time as hours worked.

    –Contact An Overtime Pay Class Action Lawyer–

    If you were employed and you believe that you have not been paid all of the overtime pay, hourly wages, salary and other benefits that you believe you are due (or if you are just not sure and want to find out), contact an overtime pay class action lawyer:

    -Report Unpaid Overtime & Wages-

    You can also share your overtime pay and wage complaints, if any, with other off the clock workers and off the clock employees by leaving a public comment below.

    Working Off The Clock Overtime Pay Related Tags:

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    -Report Unpaid Overtime & Wages-

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    This entry was posted on Monday, February 25th, 2008 at 10:14 pm and is filed under Overtime Pay Violations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. By using this blog, you agree to the Terms and Conditions. Under the Terms and Conditions, you agree and understand that your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship, and that the contents of the blog does not constitute legal advice. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Wronged by your Employer? Want to Fight Back? Contact A Class Action Attorney at www.ClassActionConnect.com.

    45 Responses to “Have You Been Working “Off The Clock”?”

    1. marlene horton says:

      workinng at dominos pizza as a delivery driver i am clocked out by my employer and not allowed to clock myself out , i ask what time im being paid till since it is different every night, 2-3 times a week i am told i am clocked out 15 min to half an hour before i am done and expected to finish my work, even though the manager leaves and is clocked off himself

    2. Ashley says:

      At our location, we are required to take the deposit to the bank after we have clocked out without any compensation for travel time or gas. We have been threatened with suspension and termination if we do not comply. I have already been written up once for not taking the deposit after closing.

    3. Lisa says:

      My employer expects me to work after I clock out to finish things we were to busy to get done during my shift. Also to come in early and work without clocking in so the person getting ready to leave can clock out on time. They expect all of us to do it. Some people don’t mind and they get mad at the one’s who don’t want to work for free.

    4. Jason says:

      Ive worked at my job for over 1 year now. For most of the time I worked 8 and 1/2 hours ever day but only recieved pay for 8. We were told that 1/2 hour taken out was our lunch break but when I tried to take one, I was told I cant. Since then we have changed to clocking out for lunch breaks. Now I am tol I get a 30 min lunch break every day. They tell me to clock out but I still work during the 30 mins and rarly get to go out and buy lunch.

    5. Denise Doles says:

      I constantly work off the clock. I am a non-exempt employee transitioning into a management position and feel “obligated” to give my best to the non-profit in which I work. I get there early, stay late, work through lunch and feel that my time should belong to me, and if I want to work–I should be able to work. My employer does have a policy of no overtime, but may enforce it upon me 10% of the time. The only drawback is that I haven’t worked there long enough to have seniority for a scheduled vacation–when I want to. I still am at their mercy there.

    6. Lisa says:

      I’m in training at a telemarketing company and was just told two days ago we now have to “memorize all scripts requested by Monday and if we did not know them by Wednesday, we’d be let go. We were told we needed to study over the weekend and know it. To me that is part of the job and the request to have this many pages memorized is ridiculous. Does this qualify as working off the clock. I have a newborn baby at home and this is a little much for me, but I need the job.

    7. Marquetta says:

      I work at a childcare facility. Recently we have been told that we can take a lunch break, but we can not leave the premises. That’s fine. The thing that I wonder about is if it’s legal since we have to clock out for our lunch. Is it legal to make your employees stay on the premises for their lunch break if they are off of the clock?

    8. Sandi says:

      I work retail and we are required to have bag and purse checks. Sometimes we have waited more than 30 minutes to have a manager check our bags and purses before we go home. Is this a legal procedure off the clock. Also, we have to check in our radios. We also do this off the clock by adding all the waiting time up, it takes employees 40 min. to leave.

    9. c tyrer says:

      I have worked for a care home since august 2008. I am not happy with the worktime regulations. All staff have an hour or some 30 min lunch deducted and then told that they cannot leave the premesis. Nurses on the night shift cannot pass the keys they hold onto another member of staff as they are the senior members of staff therefore they cannot take a proper break. They are deducted this time and also they have to hand over at the start and end of a shift that they have been told that they will not get paid for. is this right it does not feel like it to me..

    10. Jose says:

      My company does not allow me to clock in before 8:00am, but makes me start at 7:55am evey day, to boot my PC, start applications, get work, files, etc. organized – so that I can start promptly at 8:00am. Similarly, the company forces me to clock out at 5:00pm, but does not allow me to shut my PC down, put files away for the evening, etc. until 5:00pm. Would this 7 minutes every day (35 minutes per week, 2.3 hours per month)be considered working off the clock?

    11. stanley says:

      I work in distribution, most days I load my truck, for the next day, at the end of my shift, then I drive my truck home. My problem is, we carry a handheld device and we to clock in on the device to to declare we have started to head to our first stop of the day, but we can’t clock in (which is by phone)to start working until we reach our first stop of the day. For me that is an hour and a twenty minutes drive that I an not getting paid for. I have been doing my job to the best of my abilities. My employler wants us to rush through the day to get done but they are not accounting for weather or traffic conditions. I know I am working off the clock, what can I do about this?

    12. Dianne says:

      I have worked for my company for almost 5 yrs. and during that time have put in alot of off the clock time, because the hrs allowed us are not sufficient to properly do our jobs. It is no the kind of job you can just “leave” when it is time. I am sick and tired of this, but feel if I do not get the work done I will be fired. Help! What can I do? Talking to my supervisor does not work, they say no more hours will be given. I am working the fastest I can and still doing a good job.

    13. Unethical or working off the clock? says:

      I clock in 10-15 min early to prepare for my shift. My workplace edits my punch at my scheduled start time, At the end of my shift they do the
      same thing, cutting the 5-10 minutes have already worked. Iam losing 15-25 minutes a day. Is this ethical ? legal ?

    14. George Nordling says:

      Those of us who work the night shift are required to come to the plant on our free time for training. This goes on every week and we receive no pay for this. we are threatened with a ‘write-up’ if we fail to comply

    15. danika says:

      i work(ed) at Cotton Patch Cafe in Granbury, TX and if you get into touble for just not having a belt or something like that…you have to work off the clock for one-two hours on saturday mornings…i got fired for not coming to one of these while i was processing for the army! which my recruiter told me was violating another law! is any of this okay? can they really do this?

    16. Christina says:

      I was forced to sign a contract or not take the job- stating that I will clock out at 6:30pm whether or not cleaning duties are done-they are never done. So I’ve been working 15-30 minutes to clean up and not getting paid for it-I make minimum wage. Who can can I talk to about this without loosing my job?

    17. jennifer carlson says:

      i would like an answer to what marquetta said in question #7. the only difference is that i work in a health care facility. can my employee make us stay on the premisis for our lunch break if we are not getting paid for this break?

    18. Meghann says:

      I work at a YMCA in Ohio and am asked by my employer to clock out and have a meeting during my lunch hour which consists of talking about the program for which I work. There is no way this is right, but he hides it by saying me and the other directors are “hanging out.”

    19. D. Cody says:

      i work 3rd shift,and work in CA, but HQ is in Texas. we start at 945pm and HAVE to take lunch @ 11pm CA time so that we dont go into OT on the dallas time clock, but are still expected to help customers during that time. if we do not punch out it is later adjusted by managment.

    20. Dennis says:

      !2 yrs ago I worked for my step- uncle’s construction company. We were told when we hired in that he paid only “straight” time……no overtime and that we worked 6 days a week 10 hrs a day mandatory!!!! I was 22 and knew nothing of ot laws. I worked for him for a yr and a half @ $8 an hour. I went on a Friday and asked to leave 1 hr early so I could pick up my lil brother (on opposite sides of the fam) from school. He told me to “yeah…and tell him he can have the next week off too!” So I quit after that response. I’m now at a job Ive been at for 10 yrs and I was salary. I was put doin floor work with a supervisors heading and not paid ot. When I started researching ot laws I found that my “step-uncle” had out it to me 12 yrs earlier but the statute of lim is 4 yrs max I believe. He took taxes out I know that. Is there anything I can do about this. I just want what I earned no more.

    21. Brandi says:

      I work for this restaurant making $2.15 an hour plus tips. The thing is, I’m scheduled at 10:45 and if I’m not there by 10:30, I’m considered late. I can’t clock in until I get my first table, which sometimes isn’t until 12:00 or so. I’m not just sitting around doing nothing during this time either. I’m working from the time I step foot in the door. We were told we had to come in at 9:00 one day to move some tables. When I got there, I tried to clock in and they told me that I wasn’t getting paid for it. They didn’t ask for volunteers. They demanded that we come in. I didn’t get to clock in until my first table after we opened at 11:00. Is this right?

    22. Don Aldred says:

      I was working off the clock for all of 2008.
      I gave my hr. a list of dates. They thought I kept notes, I didn’t keep notes, I set down with a calendar and tried to remember the days I worked off the clock.
      Now I have to give them the updated version, I”m thinking that I’m in trouble for doing this, for not taking notes just doing it from memory. And also that my position is weak now.

      Help what do I do now?

    23. Elizabeth says:

      I work at a preschool, and enrollment has been getting worse and worse over the last two years at a pretty steady decline. As a result, our owners have made efforts to cut cost wherever possible- startin with the cost of labor. To do so, we have been required to come to work at a certain time, but if our child to teacher ratio is low, then we cannot clock on unitl enough children have arrived to require another teacher. This means we wait anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes each day, on top of a school wide hour cut. Also, over the past two years we have been “strongly recommended” to put in unpaid hours in order to finish our classroom work. they are often referred to as “prep parties” and little incentives are given in place of hourly pay. This includes decorating for upcoming special events, cleaning, decorating rooms for holidays, and making over the school for the new school year. I only recently found out that knowingly letting us work unpaid was illegal. I am unsure what steps to take because I want to be sure that I fully know what my rights are before I come forward. Any information will help!!

    24. tina says:

      i wrk in a hotel, wen our rooms r finished we wait 4them2 b checked then we have 2go bak2 our mistakes..our employers r now sayin we have to clock out as soon as our rooms r done then we have 2 wait till they are checked then go back2 them 2 rectify our mistakes on our own time..is this legal, we dont get our 4hours a day contracted hours as it is, and i find it appaullin they now want us 2 wrk in our own time.

    25. DJ says:

      I work at zaxbys in cartersville GA, and my manager likes to Schedar employees to show up an hour-2 hours before the lunch rush, and make the employees sit in the lobby and wait without being able to clock in, then he calls us in as he needs us to work, then we are allowed to clock in, i have been harassed by my boss because i left after he tried to get me to work for free during this time, he also likes to send the employees home after the rush to “lower his store hours” please tell me this is unorthodox

    26. Jeff Weber says:

      I worked almost a year as a delivery driver for one of the nations largest pharmacutical companies. I was ‘forced’ to sign a time sheet weekly and was ‘forced’ to show one half hour lunch break daily. Problem: Almost never took that half hour. I complained to my immediate supervisor often but was told that I had to sign the time sheet anyway, which I did in fear of being terminated. (I strongly believe I was eventually terminated for reasons involving male sexual discrimination).
      When I was terminated I sent an email to my boss’s immediate supervisor, his boss and HR. complaining that I had been on call 24/7 for 11 months and was never compensated. I immediately was sent a large check as payment for my on call time. That shows me I was treated unfairly in regard to pay as related to lunch hours but because I was forced to sign the time sheets the company says I have no case. I think I should be compensated for that time..

    27. BH says:

      I am a manager trainee for mcdonalds. I was told recently that in order to advance as a manager, I would have to come in before, stay late after, and/or do computer based training on my lunch break on my time. Unpaid. This seems unlawful to me, yet it has been going on for a long time. This seems to be the way that they “train” management. Is this lawful? I would like to know please.

    28. Tabitha says:

      My mother is employed at an individual owned convinant store, she was called the other morning by another employee to come in cause they were sick. When she got there the owner of the store said that the other employee would have to pay my mother out of her pocket. to me this is called working off the clock and is very illegal, please tell me if the owner has the right to do this an if not who is it reported too.

    29. Mark says:

      I was terminated today for failing to work off the clock. My shift ended, report was given to the oncomming nurse. I was out the door. Policy states we are not allowed to punch out later than 7 minutes after our scheduled time. They had 8 compitent persons in the facility, 3 withing 120 feet of the resident needing assistance. I thought, “Am I covered if something goes wrong”? Nope. The nurse for that person was on the way. I was suspended on 1/05/10 and told today I was terminated under “at will employment”

    30. Sharon Green says:

      I work in retail after we clock out we must gt bags checked and wait outside until the alarm sounds sometimes are told to gt carts is this legal also hv minors working at this place they are not fair what to do help

    31. dan cline says:

      at my job, dominos pizza, if my schedule says 5pm i have to be there at 5 pm. No problem there, but once i get there if they don’t absolutely need me i HAVE to wait to clock in until they deem necessary. I’ve waited up to one and one half hours before. It’s unpaid time that i’m required to be present for or else face punishment but am not paid for. If i’m late i have to run laps around the building on a major highway for every minute i’m late or be written up. This can’t be legal and is definately not ethical. Also i’m not sure if this is allowable but men and women are held to different dress codes as well. Our boss picks and chooses who gets to wear what and how. girls don’t have to tuck in their shirts but men do. ripped clothing is okay for some but not for others. Also many of the employees are required to pick up other employees on their deliveries for free while using employees gas and time.also breaks aren’t given to drivers because they say driving is a break…… ?? really?? i am criticized for using the restroom when we are busy. when ya gta go, ya gta go. managers make me do their job for my pay(below minimum wage). sexual harassment is constant. we are clocked out sometimes without them telling us. overall some of this has got to be illegal. i know its wrong but i don’t know what to do about it. i’ve brought it up but it never goes over well.

    32. MThys says:

      Here at the wellness center as personal trainers in my department we are all paid hourly for working our regular scheduled floors hours here at the gym facility. we recieve almost triple the pay though if we are doing a personal training session so our incentives is to get these clients signed up with us. My question has always been if it’s ok or not to stay later or come in early to try and meet up with these “potential” clients to discuss the details of our service in hopes that they will want to purchase sessions and train with us as personal trainers. I do believe this is against the law that any personal trainer stay beyond their clocked in/paid shift time even though in the long run it’s more money in everybody’s pocket… isn’t this considered unpaid wages? I’ve asked the fitness manager about this because it actually appears on the schedule saying the employee has scheduled time to be doing work at the facility, but it’s not considered to be paid time by the company. I don’t really know what to do about it because after questioning this with my boss and other employees that do it my manager says that because it’s not “on the clock time” he’s not responsible for it (which I disagree with) because this could potentially be a lawsuit waiting to happen. Who do I report this to if he’s not going to do anything about it?

    33. CB says:

      I’m a massage therapist for a chiropractor. We are paid only for the time during massage yet we are required to be there 15 minutes before the massage starts and are written up if late. We are expected to sit at the front desk and check our own clients in where we could be waiting for up to 45 minutes. They expect us to memorize scripts for marketing, chart soaps, graph our stats, clean the room and tables, wash our sheets, and wait for and care for clients without pay. I can be at work for 12 hours and only be paid for 5 or 6 (The time spent in massage. ) I’m wondering if this is a violation of any kind.

    34. MP says:

      I’ve worked for Headstart for the past 2 years and was required every week to do paperwork, inservices when need be, cleaning of my bus and other job related duties, but was not given proper amount of hours to allow me to get paid for all this. Other employees have been doing this for years. When asked about this my boss said I should be doing flexing of my hours to compensate. My schedule does not allow for this. The work had to be done to be up to state and federal requirements.

    35. jetskihap says:

      ok I have worked at a restruant for 4 years and have never clocked in and have been taken off the floor and not paid for time doing work..which I think is totally wrong.. plus am being charged 3 cents on the dollar for charge tips

    36. nanay11 says:

      I have been working for a company for almost 5 years while getting paid $14.00/hr. Suddenly my employer changed my hourly wage to $10.00/hr. Can the employer suddenly change my wage like this?

    37. Amanda says:

      My employer refuses to edit time clock mistakes. If we forget to clock in after lunch then we are “giving up” those hours and we are not paid. also, 1/2 hour is deducted from everyone’s daily shift for a lunch break regardless of if we got to have a break or not. Help Me?

    38. Eric says:

      I work in pizza delivery. I am required to come in at my scheduled time. I have no problem with that. However, if the store isn’t busy we are made to sit out in the lobby or in the parking lot or in the back room and wait to clock in. I’ve been made to wait multiple hours more than a few times. We aren’t forced to do any work. However, we are not allowed to leave and go home either. Is this practice legal? Can they force me to stay on the store grounds w/o paying me?

    39. melany says:

      While working for the State of Florida, I am required to be at my desk at 7:52am in order to be logged on and taking calls at 8am but am not paid for the 8 minutes I spend logging on.

    40. Mary says:

      I am an employee of Hair Cuttery. This is a common practice for this company to make you clock out and continue to work at the end of the night. They make you stay at least 20-30 min later and work off the clock. One person is also expected to follow the salon leader or the assistant to the bank. This is not an option. This is happening at Hair Cutteries all around the US. There are many complaints about the abuse. If you are working then you should be on the clock and be compensated. Many people lose 2 1/2 hrs or more a week due to what Hair Cuttery makes them do. I am so disappointed with company and the treatment of it’s associates……Who wants the Union to get involved? Just a thought.

    41. Jimmy Rogers says:

      I am a contractor working at a large steel factory. I am required to be at the gate to clock in at 600am to catch my company provided transportation to a location on the plant. It is a 15 minute ride to our office and back. Once at the office I am required to clock in again, but not matter what time I clock in at my time on the job does not start until 630AM. From 600A until 630PM I am required to get in uniform, get a safety meeting and then get my orders from the boss, all before 630AM. Also, when I am out working I must work 8.5 hours to get my 8 hours. I am not allowed to leave my work station to take lunch which I seldom get, but am charged.

    42. Joyce says:

      I have a daughter that works at McDonald’s. She is a minor (16) and she was asked to work during her half hour break after her consecutive 5 hour schedule (she was to work a total of 6 hours). I am not happy to know that she felt guilty because they had to send others home because they are currently low on hours. Can they be fined for this?

    43. nathan coughran says:

      i work for a photography company called sharpshooter imaging, i am working for minimum wage, and my boss continuously expects me to answer my phone on my days off, without compensation for minutes used,after being warned about this on occasion, i recieved a “verbal warning”. I thought only salary employees were required to be on call. recently a guest’s child at our venue tampered with the green screen ultimately causing it to break. After deciding that since it happened on my watch, i was responsible, my assistant manager told me i had to come in and fix the green screen “off the clock” if not i would have to pay the 300 dollars that a new green screen costs. i performed the labor in fear of losing my job, and was not compensated.

    44. gwendolyn bond says:

      i am a security officer. several times i have been disarmed after the time i am suppose to get off, which is 7 to 10 mins. after. what should i do?

    45. Debi says:

      I work for a hotel and they want us to clock out and finish our work, they give us an estimated time and if we work over it they excepect us to clock out and finish. What should I do?

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