Off the Clock Work
Many jobs require people to clock in at the beginning of their shift and clock out at the end. Typically, people who need to log their time are hourly employees and are compensated based on the hours that they work. Unfortunately, some employers try to deny their employees wages that they are rightfully owed by making them work before they clock in or after they clock out and refusing to pay them for tasks completed during those times. Denying employees compensation for off the clock work is unlawful, and employers that engage in such practices may be liable for damages. If you were not adequately paid for the actual hours that you worked, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At Gerstman Schwartz, our capable New York wage and hour lawyers are proficient at helping employees fight to recover the wages that they are owed.Examples of Off the Clock Work
Some employers ask their workers to perform work to prepare for their shift or after their shift is completed. For example, they may request that a server prepare silverware or set tables, ask a cook to restock inventory in a kitchen, or ask a worker to clean or put away equipment at the end of a shift. In some instances, an employer may require an employee to work through a scheduled lunch break but will pay the employee as if the break were taken. Employers also often modify their time-keeping software so that it automatically defaults to a set time, like the beginning of an hour, rather than the time when a person actually begins working.Federal and State Laws Regarding Pay for Hours Worked
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all non-exempt employees must be paid at least the prevailing minimum wage for hours worked and must be paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Generally, hours worked are defined as any time that a worker must be on the employer’s premises or at any other work location or is required to be on duty. Hours worked also include any other time that the employee is permitted to work and does work. In other words, under the FLSA, non-exempt employees must be compensated for time worked, regardless of whether they log into a system or sign a time card, from the time that they begin working until they cease working for the day.Claims Arising Out of Off the Clock Work
Employees who are not paid for off the clock work can pursue claims under the FLSA. To prevail on such claims, employees must prove that they worked hours for which they were not credited and that their employer knew or should have known that they were working without being paid and permitted the practice to continue. Employees also need to establish that they sustained unpaid wages due to off the clock work. Generally, off the clock work claims must be filed within two years of the date of the non-payment, but the statute of limitations may be extended in certain circumstances. Employees who prove their claims may be able to recover compensation, including unpaid wages and liquidated damages.Consult a Skillful New York Attorney
Employees are entitled to compensation for the full amount of time that they work, and employers that request that their workers complete job duties while they are off the clock violate the law. If your employer denied you appropriate wages, it is smart to consult a lawyer to assess your options. The skillful wage and hour attorneys at Gerstman Schwartz are adept at proving that New York employers that engage in unjust wage practices should be held accountable. We regularly represent people in wage and hour claims in New York City and in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can reach us to set up a consultation through our online form or by calling our New York City office at (212) 227-7070 or our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170.