Whether you’re asked to come in for a pre-shift safety meeting or stay after your shift to clean equipment, you need to be compensated for it. Likewise, if you’re asked to drop work-related materials off at the post office on the way home, or deliver paperwork to a customer after your shift, you deserve to be paid. The same thing goes for employees who are asked to take work home with them to be performed at night or on the weekends.
If an employer fails to properly maintain records of any “off-the-clock” work you do, you can make a reasonable, realistic estimate of the hours you worked when filing a lawsuit. The burden of proof will be on the employer to challenge your estimate.
In recent years, many employees have become so frustrated with their employers not providing proper compensation that they have filed lawsuits. These lawsuits have resulted in millions of dollars in settlements for employees whose employers have been taking advantage of them. Considering the amount of money that you could potentially have coming your way, it’s very important that you consider taking legal action.
Let’s say you’ve been making $20 an hour for the last five years. Even if you’ve only put in an average of 30 minutes worth of off-the-clock work each day, that can add up to a great deal of money.
When you do the math, you see just how much money could be at stake. At $20 an hour, you would be owed $30 for each overtime hour you worked – remember, the FLSA mandates that employees be given time and a half for overtime. So if you performed 30 minutes of off-the-clock work each day, that’s 2.5 hours each week – or $75.
If you’ve done this for 48 weeks out of the year for the last five years, you could be looking at as much as $18,000.
There are many, many ways that employers ask employees to basically work for free by performing off-the-clock duties. Let’s look at call center employees, for example. Many of them work from home using what is known as a virtual private network (VPN). It can take a long time to not only log into a VPN, but also to log off of one after a shift. In some instances, that can be as long as 10 minutes. They have to do this at the beginning and end of each shift, and at the beginning and end of each break they take during the day.
As you can see, this overtime can easily build up over time.
Talk to Baron & Budd
You don’t have to put up with the unfair practices of your employer any longer. Whether you’re a call center employee or have any other kind of job where you’ve been asked to work before or after your shift, it’s time that you finally get the proper compensation to which you may be entitled.