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Can your boss make you work “off the clock”?

Many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open right now due to the effects Covid-19 has had on the economy. If your boss is trying to cut corners by asking you to work off the clock, not giving you overtime pay or paying you later than they should, they may be violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or the Indiana Wage Claims Act. No matter what is happening in the economy, you deserve to be paid the money you have earned.

Wage and hour laws

The FLSA protects hourly workers across the country. It covers things like:

  • Overtime pay – If you work more than 40 hours in a single week, your employer must pay you one and a half times your normal wage for the time over 40 hours.
  • Minimum wage – The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. States and cities can set their own minimum wages, however, as long as they are above the federal wage. Indiana’s minimum wage is also $7.25, but in Illinois, it recently went up to $10 per hour.
  • Recordkeeping – Employers must pay employees on their regular payday for all work performed during the pay period.
  • Child labor laws – The law protects minors from hazardous work and from missing out on education. Employees under the age of 16 can only work certain hours.

What can you do?

Your employer cannot ask you to work without pay. You may fear losing your job if you say no.  The law protects you against that, as well. If your employer punishes you in any way for objecting to violations of this law, that action is considered retaliation. The law prohibits any type of retaliation, whether it comes in the form of a pay cut, lost hours or termination, just to name a few examples.

If your paycheck does not reflect the hours you worked, or if your employer has punished you for complaining about wage and hour violations, you may wish to consult with an employment law attorney. You deserve to receive the paycheck you earned.