Sometimes my employer makes me stay after clocking out to “finish the work I should have done during my shift.” Is this legal?
It is illegal for your employer to make you stay after clocking out to “finish the work you should have done during your shift.” This tactic is known as “working off the clock” and is one of the many tactics employers use to deny their employees their hard-earned wages.
What Other Tactics Do Employers Use to Deny Employees Their Wages?
Rogue employers use a wide range of tactics to avoid paying their employees their hard-earned salaries. Other than forcing them to work off the clock, such employers also use tactics such as:
- Misclassification of employees
- Denying overtime pay
- Firing employees as soon as they are eligible for certain benefits
- Averaging hours worked, etc.
If you suspect your employer is using these tactics or something similar to avoid paying your hard-earned salary, contact an employment and labor attorney immediately.
What Is Employee Misclassification?
The term “employee misclassification” refers to a situation where an employer knowingly classifies an employee as exempt when they are not. This is because certain exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay and other employee benefits. To put things into perspective, a rogue employer might misclassify you as an independent contractor but still have you perform the roles of a regular employee.
And given that independent contractors do not earn overtime, your employer might deny you overtime even though you are eligible.
What Is “Averaging Hours” and How Do Employers Do That?
Averaging hours is one of the many tactics rogue employers use to avoid paying their hourly employees what they owe. Here is how it works:
When an employee is entitled to overtime pay and works more than 40 hours in a particular work week, their employer might decide to have them work fewer hours in the next work week. Then, they will obtain the average between the two work weeks to determine the total number of hours worked.
For instance, let’s say you worked 60 hours this week. In that case, your employer might have you work only 20 hours the next week. So if you get paid every two weeks, you would have worked 80 hours those two weeks.
However, a rogue employer will divide the 80 hours by the two weeks you worked, meaning you worked 40 hours a week. But that should not be the case. Here is why:
If you worked 60 hours one work week, you are entitled to overtime pay because of the extra 20 hours you worked. This is because a normal work week has 40 hours. Anything above that is considered overtime hours. Your employer cannot simply ‘carry forward’ these extra hours to the next work week.
What Should I Do If My Employer Asks Me to Keep Working After Clocking Out?
The first thing you need to do is set the record straight from the get-go. Rogue employers tend to take advantage of employees who do not know their rights.
Therefore, ensure your employer knows that they will be required to pay you for hours worked if you are their employee, even as you work off the clock. Then, document the hours you worked off the clock. If you claim these hours, your employer will likely agree to pay you what they owe.
My Employer Refuses To Pay Me for Overtime Hours Worked—What Should I Do?
If your employer refuses to pay you for the overtime hours, you may need to file a complaint with a state or federal agency in charge of labor and employment matters. The agency will investigate your employer’s conduct and take the most appropriate action. If the agency determines that your employer’s conduct was unlawful, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the employer.
How Can I Sue My Employer for Violating My Rights?
Although you might be able to take legal action against your employer, it is not always easy. First, this is because labor and employment laws are complicated. Secondly, most employers can afford good employment attorneys to defend them in and out of court. For this reason, you also need a powerful legal team on your side. That is where Morgan and Morgan comes in.
How Can Morgan and Morgan Help?
Morgan and Morgan, the largest personal injury law firm in the country, receives hundreds of employment disputes yearly from coast to coast. To put things into perspective, we file the most labor and employment disputes in the United States.
So if you contact us for a free case evaluation, we will review the specifics of your case to determine whether your employer broke the law. And if they did, they will face our attorneys, whether in or out of court.
At Morgan and Morgan, we understand how stressful it can be to take legal action against your employer. Many employees often fear losing their jobs if they decide to travel this route. But that should not be an issue of concern to you. This is because it is illegal for employers to retaliate against their employees for taking legal action against them. If you believe that your employer retaliated against you for speaking with an attorney, you may have an even bigger claim.
Contact Morgan and Morgan Employment and Labor Attorneys
Do not let your employer manipulate you into thinking it is okay to work off the clock without pay. You deserve compensation for your hard-earned money. Fill out our free case evaluation form to get started.