GRT offers expert OTC attorney services and we are experts in Off-the-Clock (OTC) Time laws in California. We have been helping clients navigate the complex wage and hour law space for decades. Read on for a brief overview of off the clock (OTC) work laws and contact GRT for a free consultation.
What is Off the Clock (OTC) Work?
Any time worked by employees performing tasks required by the employer, and for the employer’s benefit, is compensable time for which the employees must be paid – – either their regular ‘straight-time’ pay, or overtime pay when applicable, or at least minimum wages.
When employees incur such time for which no payment is provided, this “off-the-clock” (or OTC) time typically violates both federal and state wage law. Such off the clock OTC work is usually incurred prior to the start of an employee’s scheduled, paid shift (pre-shift OTC time) or following the end of an employee’s scheduled, paid shift (post-shift OTC time). Employers are expected by law to pay for pre shift and post shift work.
What the Law Says About Working off the Clock
Under CA wage law, such pre and post-shift OTC time is the compensable time whenever the employee is ‘under the control’ of the employer, is performing tasks that benefit the employer and is not free to engage in their own personal pursuits when performing such tasks. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), pre or post-shift OTC time is compensable whenever ‘suffered or permitted by the employer; meaning, whenever the employer knew or should have known the OTC tasks were being performed.
If an employee secretly engages in pre or post-shift tasks that the employer has no way of knowing about, such time is likely, not compensable; however, if any pre or post-shift OTC time is incurred by employees, and the employer knows or should have known about such time because the time is spent complying with requirements set or expected by the employer, such time is compensable.When is OTC Time Compensable?
Examples of compensable OTC in various trades include restaurant servers required to prepare the area they will be served prior to ‘clocking in’, law enforcement patrol employees required to prepare their patrol vehicles prior to the start of their paid shifts, and prison guards required to go through multiple security checkpoints, submit to searches, check out keys and equipment, and walk significant distances inside prison walls to get to their assigned ‘posts’ prior to the start of their paid shifts.
OTC Lawyers & Attorneys
For employers that find themselves being accused of requiring employees to work ‘off the clock,’ it is important to seek out the help of an experienced working off the clock attorney.
The laws governing OTC are complicated, and there are many ways in which an employer can inadvertently violate these laws. An experienced work off the clock overtime lawyer will be able to help you navigate these complicated laws, and will fight to ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have been required to work off the clock, or if you believe that your employer has violated your rights, contact a working off the clock lawyer today to discuss your case.
If you are an employee or employer with specific questions regarding off-the-clock time under CA wage law or the federal FLSA, contact a Goyette, Ruano & Thompson OTC attorney for a free consultation and review.