Work Off the Clock
Many employees want to go the extra mile, but when you are required to put in additional hours without pay, you are working off the clock. Contact our Illinois overtime attorneys to determine whether you are entitled to compensation for hours worked off the clock.
Many types of jobs require employees to perform work tasks at the beginning and end of the work day, including changing into and out of uniforms (known as “donning and doffing”), cleaning or organizing, attending pre-shift meetings, and performing computer-related tasks. Some employers require employees to perform these tasks without compensation. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the workday begins when you perform your first work-related activity that is integral to the employer’s business. You are entitled to pay for performing these pre- or post-work tasks, even if your employer does not record those hours.
FLSA requires employers to pay employees for all hours worked. As a result, forcing employees to work off the clock violates FLSA. In addition, if you are working off the clock, other violations of the law may be present. For example, if you work an 8 hour shift 5 days a week, but also have to work an additional 30 minutes per day off the clock, not only are you entitled to regular wages for those 30 minutes per day, but because you are working in excess of 40 hours per week you are entitled to overtime pay for those hours worked in excess of 40. Additionally, failing to record all hours worked results in inaccurate payroll records.
Off-the-clock pay also frequently arises in the context of meal breaks. Meal breaks are unpaid, and are considered the employee’s personal time. If an employer regularly requires you to perform tasks during your meal break, you are working off the clock.
Travel is another area where off-the-clock work frequently takes place. If an employer has you run a business errand, even if it is on the way home from the office, you are performing work and are entitled to compensation. For workers who are dispatched to job sites from home, if you are required to perform significant preparation at home before you leave, such as reading company materials or dispatch messages, or cleaning and maintaining machinery, then you are entitled to compensation for that time and for travel to the first job site.
The skilled Illinois overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have substantial experience representing employees required to perform off the clock work. It is not easy to bring a claim against one’s employer, and we will advise you of all of your legal options, as well as the potential “real world” impact on your job of the different options that you have. You do not pay us any attorneys’ fees up front, and if the claim is successful, your employer is required to pay the fees and costs of the suit. If you are being required to work off the clock, call our office today at (312) 869-4095.