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Can your boss tell you to clock out and then return to work?

You want your employer to feel like you are an invaluable member of the team. You likely listen to what your manager requests of you and try to put the company’s needs first while you are on the clock. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t reward that kind of loyalty. In fact, they may intentionally take advantage of it.

For example, hourly workers in retail environments or working at restaurants may learn during their initial training that the company expects them to do certain tasks before they start their shift or after the end of their work day. The business may justify such demands by saying that everybody does it and that such tasks are necessary to keep the company operational.

However, if those jobs are important to the company’s daily operations, then they should compensate you for performing them. All too often, companies ask people to do work without pay and take advantage of them.

Demanding off-the-clock work isn’t legal

If you are an hourly employee, then you have a right to receive compensation for the entire time that you are at work. It is inappropriate and illegal for your supervisor to expect you to work before you clock in or after you clock out at the end of your shift.

Any routine job responsibility that you perform for the company, whether you clean up after the coffee shop closes or chopped vegetables at the beginning of your shift, is a task that you deserve payment for performing. The more work the company expects you to do before or after your shift, the more those lost minutes add up.

Five or 10 minutes a day can easily turn into an hour a week and then more than an entire paycheck lost because of the company demanding that you do work while not on the clock.

You need records of your unpaid work

To make a wage claim because your employer has not fully compensated you for the time you worked, you definitely need proof of the tasks that you performed and how frequently your employer expected you to perform them.

If you have to come to work 10 minutes early every shift or stay late three nights a week, keeping written records can help you validate how much time you have invested without appropriate compensation. You may even be able to partner with your coworkers to make a more compelling and effective claim for unpaid wages.

Learning more about the laws that govern your rights in Indiana and at a federal level can help you determine if you have the option of pursuing a wage claim.