Work that is performed off the clock isn't often compensated or accounted for on a weekly basis. Some employers will routinely work more than 40 hours per week in order to complete a slew of tasks. Many will not record it on their time-sheets or ask for overtime pay.
How often do employees work off the clock?
According to a 2016 Harris Poll survey, 81 percent of salaried employees in the U.S. said that they have worked off the clock at some point. About 29 percent said they have done it at least three times per week.
Many of the workers involved in the Harris Poll survey admitted that they would continue to work off the clock, even if their company policy didn't allow them to do so.
Why would employees work off the clock?
Common reasons why employees work off the clock include:
- Setting up a worksite before a shift begins
- Breaking down a worksite or cleaning up after a shift ends
- Checking emails, completing paperwork, and attending meetings during off hours
- Pressure from management to meet deadlines
- Being asked to redo certain work
- Waiting for work that is not yet available
- Traveling as part of your job duties
- Undergoing training
Why should I get paid for working off the clock?
If you are eligible for overtime pay, you should never work off the clock unless you are getting paid for it. This is something you should discuss with your employer for two reasons:
- Working off the clock can be a liability for your employer.
- It's illegal for your employer to require you to work off the clock if you're eligible for overtime.
- It gives your employer a false sense of how long it takes to meet certain deadlines.
What should I do if I was pressured to work off the clock and didn't get overtime?
You should never have to give up your free time without pay because your employer expects you to do so. If you give your time in exchange for pay, then it's critical that you know your rights as a worker.
With the help of an experienced wage law attorney, you may be able to recover back pay for unpaid hours or overtime. You may be able to do this through an individual claim or a class or collective lawsuit if several other employees weren't paid for working off the clock.
The legal team at Nilges Draher LLC can investigate your case and devise a legal strategy to help you get the compensation you are legally entitled to.
Contact us online to schedule your free consultation, or call us at (330) 470-4428. We serve clients throughout Ohio and nationwide.