Off-the-Clock Work Laws in California

Has your employer ever asked you to do work off the clock? This would include any type of work you are required to do after clocking out, before clocking out, and during one of your unpaid breaks. Attorney Douglas Han from Justice Law Corporation in California explains it this way: “Often, employees are unsure if they are supposed to be paid for certain things they do off-the-clock, or it doesn’t cross their mind that they are doing off-the-clock work. For example, if an employer requires their employee to put on (donning) protective equipment before clocking in or take off (doffing) protective equipment after clocking out, that counts as off-the-clock work.”

Because this type of off-the-clock work violates both California’s statewide laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which was implemented on a federal level, employers that subject their workers to off-the-clock work may be held liable in wage and hour lawsuits. Working a few minutes off the clock may not seem like a major issue, but it is important to compensate employees for every minute of work they do to prevent employers from using off-the-clock work to avoid paying minimum wages or overtime. Furthermore, Douglas Han of the Justice Law Corporation points out, “Even if it may seem to be a minimal amount of time, a few minutes every day can eventually add up to a lot.”

There are many other examples of common off-the-clock work that can happen in all industries. The Justice Law Corporation’s Partner Douglas Han lists many common instances including gathering tools or paperwork for your job before the start of your ship, having to clean up or throw away trash after work, or using a timekeeping system that rounds your start and stop time. An employee can be held liable for any of these actions through a claim for lost wages and/or a wage and hour lawsuit.

If you feel like wages have been held back from you for a significant amount of off-the-clock work, it may be a good idea to start looking for a good workers’ compensation law firm. The right attorney can help argue your case before the court based on the relevant laws and the evidence gathered from your records. Be sure to look through the list of law firms in California that specialize in workers’ compensation, including the aforementioned Justice Law Corporation, which is headquartered in Pasadena, California.

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