Working Off-the-Clock Without Pay?/

You could be entitled to missed wages.

If You’ve Done the Work, You Deserve the Pay

Every non-exempt employee, including all hourly paid employees, must be paid for every minute they spend in furtherance of their jobs. If the hours worked fall into the category of overtime, a worker is often guaranteed time and a half pay. In no situation should employees perform work for their employers “on their own dime.”

Employers Must Pay You For All Hours You Worked…

On the Clock

On Duty

Off the Premises or From Home

…as long as your job is being done either with the knowledge and approval of the employer.

Are You Voluntarily Working Without Pay?

An employer cannot turn a blind eye to any practice in which employees are voluntarily working off-the-clock, or are being coerced into working off the clock, whether from their homes or from the employer’s offices. Furthermore, employees taking phone calls or responding to emails or being on call requires logging in of all hours and payment for all hours worked.

If your employer requires or allows you to work, that time is generally considered hours worked and must be paid. Every employer has a legal duty to investigate whether employees are working off the clock and not being paid for all hours worked.

Get the Pay You Deserve

Contact a Skilled Florida Employment Attorney

Don’t let a reluctant employer withhold payment you have earned. If you are working off-the-clock with no pay, you should know your rights. The employment law attorneys at Feldman Williams, PLLC have collected millions of dollars for our clients. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact Feldman Williams PLLC to schedule a free assessment and find out if you have a case. With offices in Tampa, Jacksonville and Atlanta, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Florida and Georgia.

Common Working Off-the-Clock Without Pay Violations

In many instances, it is the unwritten rule that employees work extra hours off-the-clock in order to complete job tasks, hit goals or quotas and such unlawful unwritten rules are commonly called a de facto policy. Does your employer do any of the following?

Telling employees they are “salaried” so it does not matter if you clock in or out as all you are getting paid is your salary, if the employee is in fact not an exempt employee.

Instructing hourly employees to only record a set number of hours worked per day or week when the employee is working more, or to fill in no more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.

Telling employees that the company does not care how many hours they work, it is only paying for 40, or telling the employees any overtime is “on their dime”.

Paying hourly employees only by their scheduled hours and not their hours actually worked, meaning every minute they actually worked and not some estimated pre-populated numbers.

In a call center setting, paying employees only for time spent on the phone and not for time spent on other work-related activities, such as booting up their computers and applications and reviewing work related email messages.

Not paying hourly employees for time spent responding to emails and voicemails while outside of the office, or for other work-related activities performed away from the worksite.

Not paying employees who have to take or make phone calls outside of the office, or requiring employees to prepare reports or other things over the weekend in preparation for Mondays.

Instructing hourly employees to clock out of the timekeeping system and continue working.

LAWPOINT: No employee waives or foregoes his or her rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act to be paid minimum wages or overtime wages for all hours worked by executing or signing any “severance agreement” or any other contract or legal writing disclaiming entitlement to be paid for all such hours, even any such agreement says the employee releases the employer from such claims.

Types of Off-the-Clock Wage Violations

MEAL PERIODS

Employers aren’t required to provide meal breaks. However, depending on the length of the meal break and the requirements of the employee during that period, time spent on a meal break might still be considered “on-the-clock.”

 

REST BREAKS

Under federal law, an employer need not provide rest breaks to its employees. However, rest breaks that are provided are considered hours worked and must be paid.

 

HOLIDAY, VACATIONS AND SICK TIME

Any time you take off for a holiday, vacation or illness need not be included in calculating your total hours worked for purposes of determining whether you are owed overtime compensation.

 

TRAINING TIME

Employees who attend required events, conventions, trade shows, seminars, training programs or training events require the employees to be paid for all such time unless it falls outside regular work hours, is voluntary, isn’t directly job-related or requires the employee to do no productive work.

 

TIME SPENT “ON-CALL”

If you are required to be available by email or telephone or if you are required to be unable to leave a location, you might be entitled to be paid for the time your employer asks you to be available, or “on-call.”

ON DUTY WAITING TIME

If you are on duty and engaged, and not waiting to be engaged, then you must be paid for this time. For example, a limo driver who is required to park the vehicle during a shift near an airport, be readily available and required to take passengers is engaged to be waiting, and not waiting to be engaged. This is “on duty” waiting time.

 

OFF DUTY WAIT TIME

While employees are not owed pay for off duty wait time, it’s easy for an employer to misclassify on duty as off duty wait time. Employees should know that the four tests for off-duty wait time:

  • You are completely relieved from duty.
  • The periods of waiting time are long enough to enable you to use the time effectively for your own purposes.
  • You are told in advance by your employer that you may leave the job.
  • Your employer advises you of the time that you are required to return to work.

 

TRAVEL TIME

Time spent traveling from home to work and work to home is generally not compensable work time. However, traveling to various customers, clients or stores may be compensable. If travel is central to your job responsibilities, travel time might be considered compensable and paid for by your employer.

Giving Employees “Comp Time” in Lieu of Overtime Is Unlawful

Compensatory time or “comp time” occurs when an employer allows an employee to receive hours or days off in lieu of overtime (time and a half) compensation. Generally, non-exempt private employees are eligible for overtime pay when their work time exceeds 40 hours per week.

While it might be tempting for employers or employers to think of total time worked in a pay period, it is ultimately unfair for workers. For example, if an employer requires an employee to work 50 hours one week and 30 the next, the employee should still be paid overtime for the extra 10 hours of work during the first week.

A private employer cannot ask an employee to record their hours worked as being worked on a different day of the following week to avoid overtime from being paid or incurred.

Talk to an employment law attorney at Feldman Williams, PLLC to get a free assessment of your case. Our experienced attorney will determine if you deserve compensation for time you worked and were not paid. We aggressively represent our clients’ rights and are seasoned trial attorneys. Contact us today to discuss your case.