Off-the-Clock Work & Labor Laws


Many employees may experience pressure to work off-the-clock, or when they aren’t clocked in. It may be as simple as asking an employee to run an errand after their shift or perform one last task. Off-the-clock work can also come in the form of off-the-clock training or meetings or completing paperwork or assignments between shifts. Under federal labor law, however, all work performed must be paid, whether or not the employee is clocked in or not. Learn more about your rights under labor laws.

What is Off-the-Clock Work?

Any task that is performed in the course of your work, or to prepare for your work should be compensated. If your employer does not allow you to clock in before certain tasks are performed, does not compensate you for some time spent working, or forces employees to work when clocked out for breaks, they are in violation of federal labor laws.

Here are some common tasks that employees are asked to perform off-the-clock:

  • Re-doing tasks or assignments
  • Administrative work such as paperwork and training
  • Waiting for work or an assignment
  • Changing into or out of uniforms or protective equipment
  • Loading or warming up a work vehicle
  • Booting computers
  • Performing safety checks
  • Working through breaks
  • Pre- or post-shift meetings, or coming in on their day off for a meeting
  • Finishing up tasks after their shift has ended.
  • Dropping off or picking up equipment for a shift
  • Cleaning, preparing, or setting up work spaces

Volunteer Shifts

Some employers make ask employees to volunteer free time to complete tasks or assignments. This is still illegal under federal labor laws, even if the employee agrees to the arrangement. Volunteer work is only acceptable and legal for registered non-profit companies.

What Can You Do?

If you are being pressured or required to perform work tasks while you are off the clock, your employer is in violation of federal labor laws. You do not have to perform work tasks, attend meetings, or prepare for shifts without compensation if you are an hourly employee. At Donati Law, PLLC, we are prepared to protect and help you better understand your rights. Our team of Memphis employment attorneys is passionate about helping workers ensure that they receive the compensation that they deserve for their hard work.

Don’t wait to get help. Contact our offices to schedule a consultation by calling (901) 209-5500.

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To discuss your case with an accomplished attorney who cares, give our firm a call at (901) 209-5500 or fill out the form below.

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