The holiday season is a great time to be charitable. You may volunteer to aid in a cause or serve the less fortunate. But working at your job is not the time to be volunteering. At the workplace, the holidays tend to offer opportunities for added shifts (and therefore extra money) but many people try to be helpful to their fellow employees by working a bit of extra time that they are not compensated for. For example, your boss may ask you to stay a few minutes later to help when things get busy. While this might be a small amount of extra work, you have the right to be paid for it. Working off the clock is a violation of state and federal laws, even if you volunteer to do so.
For instance, when an employee’s shift ends, but the crowd in their store or restaurant is substantial, their supervisor might ask them to stay a couple of minutes later to help until the number of customers diminishes. If the employee has already clocked out, they should clock back in, and if their manager does not approve of that or allow them to do so, then the company is breaking the law.
It is not just during the holiday rush where you might find yourself working without pay or being underpaid. Many business owners or managers may ask you to do some work either after hours or at home during your off time – even at other times. That, also, is work for which you should be compensated.
One way that businesses attempt to skirt the law is by offering compensation that is not monetary or part of your regular rate of pay. For example, a manager might require additional work and provide a “thank you” such as via a free lunch, merchandise, or other gifts. These kinds of things are not considered substitutes for pay under the law and generally end up with the employee being cheated out of money that is rightfully theirs, especially if the work would have been considered overtime and would have qualified for time-and-a-half pay.
Are you being asked to work off the clock or are you not receiving overtime pay? You may be due payment. The Carter Law Firm is a specialist in workplace violation and employee rights. If you feel that you may have been a victim of the above-described practices at your workplace, please enter your confidential information in the form below, and a representative of our firm will contact you about your claim.