Do You Do Any of These Things While Off the Clock? You May be Overtime Eligible

Woman working through lunchEven when employees work a full 40-hour week, they may struggle to get every little thing done. That is why many employees end up doing some things on weekends or right before or after their shift ends.

If this sounds like a normal part of your weekly routine, it is important to note you may be working overtime. That means you may be eligible for overtime pay.

If you do a significant amount of work off the clock, but your employer refuses to provide overtime compensation, you may want to discuss things with a licensed wage and hour lawyer in Sacramento.

Off-the-Clock Activities That May Qualify for Overtime

If you are a non-exempt employee, which means federal and state overtime laws cover you, you must be paid time-and-a-half for any overtime hours worked in a week. This may include the hours spent doing activities such as:

  • Checking your emails
  • Putting on or taking off safety equipment required to do your job
  • Cleaning equipment you use to do your job
  • Turning your computer on or off
  • Going to a training or safety class
  • Going through security checkpoints
  • Being on-call and available to handle work-related issues while technically off the clock
  • Driving to your first job/client of the day from the company’s location
  • The last drive of the day back to the company headquarters

You could have been doing these things while off your employer’s premises and still be eligible for overtime pay.

Is your employer tracking these activities? If you added up the hours spent on these activities, would it put you over 40 hours per week?

These are important questions you can discuss in a free consultation with a licensed attorney from our firm. There is no obligation to hire our services if we find you have a valid claim.

Industries and Jobs That Frequently Deny Overtime

There are certain industries where employees may be more likely to be denied overtime for off-the-clock activities, such as:

  • Pizza delivery
  • Retail workers
  • Construction workers
  • Nurses/health care employees
  • Service technicians who travel to clients to do their work
  • IT workers
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Oil and gas industry workers
  • Workers in call centers
  • Employees who work on tips

If you are a tipped employee, your employer may try and lead you to believe you are not owed overtime wages. However, this is not true.

Discuss your concerns about being denied any wages you are owed with a knowledgeable attorney.

Are Employers Required to Prevent Off-the-Clock Work?

Employers are responsible for making sure non-exempt employees avoid off-the-clock work. There are several steps they may take to make sure this happens:

  • Create clear policies prohibiting off-the-clock work – Set clear guidelines prohibiting off-the-clock work and explain what working off the clock means.
  • Provide training on wage laws – This can help managers and supervisors to prevent off-the-clock work and gain a better understanding of their responsibilities under federal and state wage laws.
  • Limit access to technology – This helps to prevent employees from accessing their work emails and other assignments, which should help prevent them from working.
  • Prevent employees from staying late – Managers and supervisors should make sure employees do not stay late. They should also monitor employees to prevent them from working before their shift starts. Supervisors also need to make sure employees take mandated breaks and do not try to work through them.

If your employer fails to take these steps, and employees work off the clock, but they are not paid overtime wages, you may be able to file a claim for compensation.

What if My Job is Understaffed?

If your place of work is understaffed, and there is an excess demand from clients or in the industry, it is your employer’s responsibility to either hire enough staff to meet demand or pay overtime wages to the employees they do have.

Some employers may try to designate unqualified employees as exempt from overtime pay to get away with not paying those extra wages. However, this is illegal. Employers caught doing this may not only face fines, but employees may also be able to pursue compensation for unpaid wages.

You are not required to work off the clock simply because your employer cannot find staff, refuses to hire more employees or pay overtime wages.

Have You Been Denied Overtime? Call Today

There is no risk in contacting our firm. The initial consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation to take legal action.

We are prepared to pursue maximum compensation for your unpaid wages and hold your employer accountable for potentially breaking the law.

Call 916-777-7777 to schedule a free consultation.