Employees do not volunteer to work off the clock (also known as "OTC") very often, especially without getting paid extra, but many do so to accomplish their tasks or because their employers demand it. This is especially true for remote employees who cannot differentiate work hours since they are at home. Unfortunately, this method may lead to pricey legal problems... for the employer.
Remember that speaking with employment law attorneys like Brandon J. Broderick can be helpful if you are unsure if your employer is abiding by the law. You may very well have a case on your hands and legal representation could help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Before making any moves, please get in touch with us for some guidance. We are very experienced in employment law and related subjects.
What Work Is Considered Off The Clock?
Working off the clock might mean a variety of things for a non-exempt worker, depending on their specific arrangement, including:
- doing work before or after clocking in;
- working without taking breaks;
- not keeping track of all working hours;
- going to work-related training courses or events;
- or doing work-related things like checking email outside of normal working hours.
The term "working off the clock" (OTC) refers to situations in which employees execute job obligations without being paid for their time. A lot of times, remote employees will work far more than the hours they are hired for, many of those hours can be considered OTC.
How To Minimize OTC Work and Why It's Important?
It is essential to reduce or eliminate the need for OTC labor for a wide variety of reasons, beneficial for both the employer and employee. Working OTC has been linked to higher rates of employee burnout, inflated expectations of productivity, and insufficient manpower.
Therefore, it is in everyone's best interest for workers to quit doing work OTC. A few strategies to minimize OTC labor include:
- elimination of busywork;
- implementation of policies prohibiting OTC;
- modification of workloads;
- improved manager-employee communication to open dialog regarding time management issues;
- limiting access to company systems during off-times;
- enforcement of laws regarding taking breaks.
Failure to implement measures to end OTC work could have expensive repercussions for an employer if a worker chooses to sue, which in some cases, is their right.
Why OTC Work Can Lead To Disputes Over Wages and Hours
The mental health of employees is negatively impacted and workers' legal rights are violated, when they are required to work off the clock. Legally, employees have a right to be compensated for their OTC work. If an employee sues their employer for not paying them their agreed-upon wages, both regular or overtime, the company may be forced to pay damages to settle the case, as well as potential fines and penalties.
The best course of action for any worker concerned about overtime work or unpaid compensation is to consult with an experienced employment law attorney.
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Our employment lawyers can assist your company in avoiding any legal entanglements and repercussions, while also providing advice and guidance in the event that a worker is discriminated against or a victim of wage theft. Our team of lawyers will fight to maximize any settlements you receive in the future.
Trust the process and make the right choice. To schedule an appointment with one of our labor and employment attorneys, please contact us right now.