Ohio Overtime Attorney Answer: Are employer policies about clocking out legal? Can I be fired if i do not clock out on time? Does It matter if I keep working after I am told to clock out? What should I do if I need an overtime Lawyer in Cleveland?
Our overtime law attorneys and wage and hour lawyers constantly hear from employees who have been disciplined for not clocking out on time. These employees want to know: is this legal? At the end of the day, it all depends on what you were actually disciplined for – was it for working past your shift, or just for not clocking out when you did so? In other words, an employer can insist that employees adhere to their scheduled shifts, and discipline them when they don’t, but they cannot discipline an employee merely because that employee reported all the hours the employer made them work.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA“), a covered nonexempt employee must be paid by their employers for hours worked over 40 per workweek at a rate at least one and half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Our wage and hour lawyers have blogged about above scenario before – in which the employer has a rigid clock out policy, but expects employees to keep working until the work is done – as a trick employers often use to unlawfully deprive employees of their lawfully earned wages. (see also Wage Attorney Answers: Can My Job Clock Me Out When I Go Potty?; When Does My Job Have To Start Paying Me? Best Wage Lawyer Reply!; My Employer Is Not Paying Me For All Of The Time I Work. I Need A Lawyer!; and Can My Employer Refuse To Pay Me For Hours I Did Not Record On My Time Card? I Need A Lawyer!)
A recent case out of Minnesota, Le v. Regency Corp., shows what can happen when an employer insist on making employees clock-out before they are done working. In Le, the employees were admission representatives for Regency, who operates a chain of cosmetology schools. Until December of 2010, the employees had been paid a salary, until they were one day informed that they were actually hourly employees by Regency’s HR department. Regency further informed the employees that they would have to begin using a time-clock to clock in and clock out. Oddly, when the employees asked about their salary status, they were told they were hourly employees all along. When the employees then asked about receiving overtime for all the extra hours they had put in over the years while being paid a salary, they were told they should try to avoid “burning bridges.”
Even as hourly employees, Regency forced the employees to work overtime without compensation. For example, the employees were told to clock out when they would visit Regency campuses to give tours to prospective students, and when they visited local high schools and trade schools to recruit new students. Likewise, the employees were often required to clock out at the end of their shifts, even when they continued working, were required to work through lunch breaks that were uncompensated, received frequent work-related phone calls at home, and were required to attend uncompensated weekend “summits.”
So, if your boss makes you clock out, but expects you to keep working until the work is done, or makes you work through your unpaid break, you may have a wage and hour claim. In Le, roughly twenty five employees joined into the case, which eventually settled for $450,000.
If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages for all of your lawfully earned overtime compensation at a rate of one and half times your normal wages as requires under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards laws or you are an nonexempt employee that has been misclassified as exempt or independent contractor, contact the attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your overtime pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call 866-797-6040.
The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.