As you know, employees must be compensated for all hours worked. Typically employers require employees to clock in and out, sign in and out, etc. Off-the-clock work is defined by any work performed while not “clocked in.”
Typically issues have come up with employees getting dressed for their shift, preparing the work area, cleaning up at the end of the day, etc. However, with our technology, it is becoming increasingly common that employees may check and respond to work email or work-related calls or texts while not clocked in.
Best practices for mitigating your risks in this area:
- Maintain clear policies forbidding off-the-clock work and establish procedures for employees to report all time worked.
- Maintain a policy requiring employees to promptly notify the employer, in writing, if any work is performed before clocking in, after clocking out, or during any meal period.
- Maintain a policy requiring employees to promptly notify the employer in writing if any wage statement does not accurately state the number of hours worked during the pay period for which the wage statement is issued. In fact, the policy should be clear that it is the employee’s responsibility to check the wage statement and immediately notify the employer in writing of any mistakes.