Q. Some of my employees have been griping that a portion of their job duties involves “off-the-clock” work. What are the rules regarding off-the-clock work, and what are some examples?
A. Working outside of one’s scheduled work time without pay is generally known as working “off-the-clock.” Failing to pay employees for off-the-clock work is a common violations of federal and state wage-and-hour laws.
’ use of smartphones and email access from remote locations have increased worker productivity, but have also substantially increased the risk of off-the-clock work violations. The most commonly litigated off-the-clock work violations that result from available technology include the following:
- Remote communications engaged in by nonexempt employees (via phones or email)
- Remote computer work performed by nonexempt employees, particularly where employees connect to the employer’s servers to perform compensable work
- Time that nonexempts spend at work waiting for computers or other systems to boot up or shut down
- Being required to check or respond to voice mails or emails before or after regularly scheduled hours
- Uploading or downloading information to a company website or server
- Performing required online training or completing required job-related paperwork online after hours.
It is unlawful for nonexempt employees to perform these activities without the time being properly recorded and paid.