California employees are entitled to protections under state and federal regulations. Being aware of your rights can help to protect you in the event that your employer is violating existing labor laws at the state or federal level.
What Is Considered Off-The-Clock-Work in California?
One of the most common situations that leads to legal claims brought forward by employees has to do with off-the-clock work. When your employer violates this, you may be entitled to bring a wage and hour lawsuit against him or her.
State laws and federal laws generally require employers to pay non-exempted employees wages for all of the time in which that individual works. This is typically interpreted to mean any time that the employee is required to be on duty at a prescribed workplace or on the employer’s premises, at any time during which the employee is permitted or suffered to work, whether or not required to do so.
Active productive labor includes all hours worked. If an employer attempts to encourage you to engage in off-the-clock work that you will not be paid for, this could be a violation of California labor laws.
Working time in California is different from other states because it is not limited only to hours worked in active productive labor. Unauthorized overtime, as one such example, could also be included in terms of hours for which the employee should be paid.
What Is Off-The-Clock Work?
An employer is responsible for paying an employee for off-the-clock work, including time worked after or before a scheduled shift, if the employer should have known or did know that the employee worked those hours.
Common examples of off-the-clock work in California include:
- work that an employer does,
- working during a required rest or meal break,
- redoing a project or correcting problems at the employer’s request,
- post-shift work,
- pre-shift work, and
- administrative work.
In some situations, California employers may attempt to engage in off-the-clock work violations by using payroll practices that only pay employees for the time they are scheduled to work, even though they may be still under the employer’s control after the shift ends. This leads to wages in which the employee does not receive the appropriate payment for his or her off-the-clock work.
Employees in California are entitled to be paid for working off-the-clock, but it is important to remember that supervisors or employers may not always be explicit about requiring off-the-clock work. In some situations the employer may suggest or encourage off-the-clock work in order to avoid paying out the hourly wage due to that employee for the entire time they are working.
If you believe that you have been subjected to an off-the-clock work violation, an experienced wage and hour attorney in California can help. The lawyers at Bradley/Grombacher can help you with your California wage and hour claim, contact us today.