Under California wage law, employers cannot ask employees to work “after hours” without compensation. After-hours work is work that employees do, with the knowledge of their employer, and without pay.
The California Supreme Court has previously determined that even working a few minutes before or after registering is a time for which a worker is entitled to compensation. Our employment attorneys at Proxy Law Firm can help you assert your rights in order to obtain fair pay.
Common forms of work outside of business hours:
- Pre-shift work (time spent preparing a restaurant to open, preparing a workplace, or preparing safety equipment).
- Post-shift work (cleaning, storing equipment, or delivering equipment to a new location).
- Administrative work (completing paperwork or medical records)
- Redo a project or correct parts of it at the request of the employer.
- Work done during a meal or a required break.
In certain situations, California employers may attempt to violate California laws by using payroll practices which only pay employees for the time they are scheduled to work. In these situations, employers overlook the extra time employees spend preparing before work, putting on their uniforms, or cleaning up (addressing those tasks as ‘de minimis’). This results in the employee not receiving adequate payment for actual time spent working.
While employees in California are entitled to be paid for any activity performed after hours, it is essential to remember that supervisors or employers are not always explicit or vocal about the obligation to work after hours. In some situations, the employer may suggest or encourage after-hours of work to avoid paying the hourly wage owed to that employee, suggesting that they have no further obligation.
If you believe you have been working off the clock and not getting paid, contact our office for a free consultation.