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Common Ways Workers End Up Working Off The Clock


The phrase working off the clock refers to work that an employee does that is not directly compensated and is not tallied as part of an employee’s weekly hours, meaning it can lead to unpaid overtime. If an employer is requiring you to work, they are required to compensate you for your work under the law.

If your employer has asked you and your coworkers to work off the clock, it could be a wage violation. Extra hours that are unpaid should not be permitted. You have a right to be compensated for your work. Talk to a Columbus employment attorney today.

Types of Tasks that May Happen off the Clock

Just as there can be a variety of duties depending on what job you have, there are many different ways individuals find themselves working off the clock. This can happen within a workplace or offsite.

Off the clock work could include one or more of the following:

  • Not being paid for prep work. This could include loading trucks before a day of deliveries or setting the tables in a restaurant before the business opens.
  • Failure to pay for work after a shift. If a worker is required to clean up after a business closes or bring materials to another worksite.
  • Unpaid office work. Administrative duties such as paperwork, meetings, filing, taking phone calls, and accounting done when a worker is on their off hours.
  • Reworking project. Times when an employer wants a worker to redo past mistakes or refresh a project without compensation.
  • Travel time. If a person has to travel during the workday they should be paid for that time.
  • Unpaid breaks. Making unfair deductions on paychecks for breaks.
  • Mandatory meetings. When work gatherings are mandatory and benefit the employer, employees should be paid their full wage while in attendance.

When off the clock work is required, there is the possibility that the employer is doing something illegal.

How to Recover Back Wages

Filing a complaint could be a path to recovering back wages for off the clock work. A Columbus employment attorney can help. When illegal wrongdoing is proven, employees may be able to secure back wages for unpaid work, including work hours and overtime hours. Typically, the back pay compensation can go back three years. But each situation is unique and it is important you talk about the details of your circumstance with an experienced lawyer.

Laws, on a federal and state level, protect workers. When employers have withheld wages and do not have a clear, legal reason for doing so, compensation could be possible. When you are in the right, it is even possible to have the wrongdoing party pay all of the legal costs associated with bringing the dispute forward.

Is off the clock work the norm at your Ohio workplace? Contact the lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC today. We are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers and use our experience and knowledge to help you. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.


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