Off the Clock Work

Are you receiving overtime pay for off the clock work that you do? Many employers require or permit their employees to engage in work that benefits the company but unlawfully refuse to count that time toward their 40-hour work week and this is the makings of a major overtime lawsuit for the company. Examples of off the clock work include:

  • Are you receiving overtime pay for off the clock work that you do? An employer does not count work performed just prior to or after the regular workday. Such pre- or post-shift work might include answering telephone calls or emails, booting up and shutting down computers, or putting on and removing special gear or equipment. In some cases, employees are expected to see clients or patients, or attend meetings at the very start of their workday, meaning they must arrive early to prepare. If pre- or post-shift work is an integral and indispensable part of the employee’s principal duties, the employer generally must compensate the employee for that work.
  • Are you working through meal and rest breaks but not receiving overtime pay for them? Employees are required or permitted to work through unpaid meal or rest breaks. This is a common violation in the health care field, where employees may be expected to drop what they are doing and attend to patients in need. It is unlawful for employers to automatically deduct wages for meal or rest breaks that the employee does not actually take due to work obligations.  Employee overtime lawsuits often occur based on this key example.
  • Are you working remotely without overtime pay? An employee is required to make telephone calls, answer emails, or perform other work from home but the employer does not compensate the employee for that time.

Is your overtime pay being calculated correctly? In addition, many employers miscalculate employees’ regular rate of pay by basing employees’ overtime rate on an amount less than his regular rate of pay. For example, employees’ overtime pay is based on their post-deduction wages, i.e., the employer does not count amounts deducted for union dues, withholding taxes, and other items. Or the employer fails to consider special union-negotiated premiums in calculating an employee’s “regular rate of pay.” The overtime rate must be calculated be based on that employee’s actual pre-deduction wages.

Blitman and King provides cutting edge, practical advice for overtime lawsuit clients in the Albany, Buffalo, Manhattan, Long Island, Rochester and Syracuse NY areas.