Off-the-Clock Work

Dedicated Employment Lawyer Helping Employees in Los Angeles and Orange County Collect Their Hard-Earned Wages from Reluctant Employers

California employers are required to pay employees for all time worked, even if employees are not clocked in. If your employer requires you to work off the clock, you deserve to get paid for your time. However, many employees are understandably reluctant to raise concerns about off the clock work and other wage and hour violations due to fear of retaliation. However, if your employer fails to pay you for off the clock time, you can pursue a California employment lawsuit for unpaid minimum wages and overtime wages and other damages and penalties under various Labor Code provisions.

At the Hardin Law Group, our dedicated Los Angeles and Orange County off the clock work attorney has decades of experience connecting workers with the money they worked hard to earn. We understand the tactics employers use to justify asking employees to work while off the clock and how to refute employers’ arguments that this practice is permitted.

What Is Off the Clock Work?

State and federal law require employers to pay employees based on the amount of time they work. However, some employers—either explicitly or implicitly—encourage workers to complete work-related tasks while off the clock. However, this practice violates both state and federal labor laws.

Examples of Off the Clock Work

Below are a few examples of what might constitute compensable off the clock work.

Putting on And Removing Work-Related Clothing and Equipment

The United States Supreme Court has held that “donning and doffing,” which is the process of putting on and removing work-related clothing and equipment, is a principal activity for which employees must be compensated. In the case IBp v. Alvarez, 126 S.Ct. 514 (2005), the Court took this a step further and held that employees must be paid for the time spent walking to a specific job site after putting on protective equipment.

Afterhours Phone Calls and Emails

Employers have increasingly relied on employees’ willingness to answer emails and take phone calls after work hours. However, employers that allow their employees to answer an email or make a work-related phone call after hours must pay employees for their time. Courts have even held that it isn’t enough to prohibit off the clock work; employers must implement a strict time-keeping system to discourage workers from engaging in off the clock work unless they plan on compensating workers accordingly.

Meal and Rest Breaks

Interrupted meals or rest breaks are another common form of off-the-clock work. Although employers have the right to interrupt unpaid breaks, they must compensate employees when they do. For example, if you are on your lunch break and a supervisor initiates a work-related conversation, your employer is required to pay you for that time. In situations where employers automatically subtract time for meal breaks, typically 30 minutes, and an employee’s meal break is disrupted, this time deduction should be revised to ensure the employee is paid for the time they were working. Additionally, if an employee works through their meal, this does not qualify as a legitimate break. In such cases, employers must compensate the employee for this time.

Has Your Employer Failed to Pay You for Off the Clock Work?

If you have not been paid for off the clock work, you may be able to pursue a California wage and hour claim against your employer. At the Hardin Law Group, we believe that you deserve to get compensated for your hard work. If your employer fails to pay for off the clock work, call Hardin Law Group today for a free and confidential consultation with our Los Angeles employment law attorney. Attorney James Hardin has extensive experience bringing employers’ wage and hour violations to light and has helped countless workers recover meaningful compensation for their hard work. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call our Los Angeles wage and hour violations attorney at 310-606-2122. You can also connect with our Orange County employment attorney by calling 949-337-4810.

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