Common Forms of Off-the-Clock Work
Off-the-clock work is work done by an employee in a period that is not included in the work hour calculation. Therefore, the employee does not receive any pay despite working. This can be a moral issue, because an employee doesn’t get the pay for the work he has done, and a legal issue, because according to the website of Williams Kherkher, those who work off-the-clock may have legitimate wage claims.
But how exactly can off-the-clock work occur? Below are the most common forms of off-the-clock work.
Working before shift
Some of the most common off-the-clock work manifestations are work before shift and work after shift. In the case of work before shift, it mostly involves preparations for the actual work shift, such as putting on proper uniforms, turning on equipment, preparing work areas, among others.
Working after shift
Working after shift is a common overtime form, but it can also take the form of off-the-clock work. Usually, work after shift involves the final touches of the actual work shift, such as maintaining equipment, cleaning work areas, accomplishing things that should have been completed during the actual work shift, among others.
Work during break periods
Lunch and other break periods are usually not included in work hour calculations. But this can be a problem if employees are being required to work even in these periods, because these instances can be viewed as off-the-clock work with zero compensation. They can be accidental, like handling an emergency situation, or incidental, like talking to a client to adjust to the client’s convenience.
There are also instances where employees are trying to accomplish administrative tasks outside of work hours, such as writing reports, making presentations, attending meetings, and undergoing training in his or her own time. These should also be properly compensated.
Reworking a task is still counted as work, even if the rework has been warranted by employee errors. Those who are asked to redo a task without getting payment are doing off-the-clock work and deserve pay.