Workers Combating Off-the-Clock Violations
Workers such as those in the recent wage and hour Starbucks case, are combating off the clock violations. The body of law that protects employees from working off the clock is a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, among other things, requires workers who work more than 40 hours a week to receive fair compensation for overtime. While exceptions apply to many salaried and managerial workers, it is important to understand some of the important issues involved with the legality of working off the clock.
What Constitutes Working “Off the Clock”?
Any work that an employee does that is not compensated and does not count toward the determination of overtime can be considered off the clock. “Working” can include anything that an employer asks you to do. In some situations, an employer might also be required to compensate a worker whose work is “suffered,” which includes work that is not requested but is allowed, including working without pay to help fellow workers.
Some of the most common work that is performed “off the clock” includes:
- Unpaid administrative work, which includes record review, team meetings, or training
- Unpaid preparation, which includes setting up or cleaning up after an event
- Unpaid time to either correct errors or fix a project
- Waiting for work when there is not any available
How “Off the Clock” Cases Work
In addition to recognizing the signs of wage and hour violations, it is also important for workers to understand some important details about the legal process associated with them. If a worker believes that an off the clock violation has occurred, you should contact an experienced wage and overtime lawyer. Workers who are capable of successfully arguing that wage and hour violations occurred are capable of receiving a maximum of three years of back wages related to work. In some cases, workers are even able to receive liquidated damages equal to what the worker would have been able to make in back taxes. In some cases, workers are able to recover compensation for legal counsel fees.
If these violations occur, there are a limited number of defenses that employers are capable of raising to avoid payment.
Advocate for “On the Clock”
The best way to avoid any off the clock violation is to create clear and defined overtime policies regarding work. Sometimes, a worker will feel that he or she is expected to work off the lock in order to curry favor with an employer, but this is not a legal arrangement. By agreeing to expectations ahead of time, and responding early when violations occur, you can make sure that all off the clock violations are handled effectively and that you, as a worker, do not end up losing time or money.
Speak with a Wage and Hour Attorney Today
If you have been asked to work off the clock, it is often a violation of your rights as an employee for which you can seek compensation. Fortunately, a seasoned attorney understands how to establish that these violations occurred and will remain committed to making sure that you obtain the compensation that you deserve. Contact Herrmann Law today.