Does your boss make you work for free?

I try to not do this, ever, but I noticed a manager warn an employee to clock out and not go over 8 hours. I guess this makes sense, but the employee had already clocked out and was still trying to wrap his shift up, including required end-of-shift duties.

Do you have to do this in your job?

What kind of jeopardy does this put the business in should someone complain?

Labor Board comes in with a big ol’ hammer looking to nail someone. Plus the insurance most likely won’t cover an off-the-clock employee.

I used to have a job that I was in “Management Training”, which roughly translated into “Endless Hours of Unpaid Overtime”. Fuck, I hated that place!

I’m a salaried, exempt employee and have been for many years. I almost always work more than 40 hours per week. My boss, however, understands this and makes up for it in various ways. OTOH, our hourly associates are absolutely not to work unpaid hours, period, end of story. To do so is a firing offense. As odd as that may sound, the penalties to which the company would be subjected far outweigh the small gains from unpaid hours. Even if there were no penalties, and the odds of getting caught are indeed small, paying people for all hours worked is just the right thing to do.

I work in a business that forces “productivity” standards on people that are anywhere from sometimes unattainable to completely unattainable and working off the clock is one way to deal with this. the company I was most recently working for would punish you for getting caught doing this, however, so it was a no-win situation.

I guess I won’t be more specific.

Forcing non-exempt employees to work off the clock (punch out, then help close the store) or promoting them to bogus management positions (which are that only in title and not role) = illegal.

TD Bank

The above have settled or lost cases associated with the practice.

From here.

I’ve always been exempt, so technically I’ve never suffered from wage theft, though at one place I worked they decided to show they were serious about the project and offered “voluntary” dinner (names were taken, just for the records, of course.) After dinner people pretty much were expected to work until 9 - or pretend we were working.
That was more sanity theft than wage theft.

My son used to work at a Subway when he was a teenager where the manager would make him clock out but not let him leave, because if it got busy he wanted him to clock back in.

I worked as a hostess at Red Lobster for a time, and employees were not allowed to leave at night by themselves. A couple of times after clocking out and waiting around for someone to walk out with me I said screw it and waited until I could be accompanied before clocking out. I understand the need to keep staff safe, especially servers carrying a lot of cash, but sometimes I was stuck waiting thirty minutes or more.

There were no management personnel at the time? That is wrong. Management should always have the final responsibility for deposits.

This, to me, sounds like a manager trying to keep his department either under a certain budget or his boss is on his case about overtime.
Also, a business owner could be trying keep employees from hitting overtime, full time (health insurance) or bumping into labor law issues if any of the employees are minors.

Regardless of the reason, (in a perfect world, easier said than done and all that), if my boss told me to punch out, I’d walk out the door, if they told me I wasn’t finished working, I’d punch back in. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you get hurt during those few minutes, the boss may attempt to show that you weren’t on the clock during that time and you could be on your own.

@ivylass, for both you and your son, if the mangers required you to stay you should be getting paid, if they asked you to hang out for a little while (in case they need you/they’ll feel better if someone walks you to your car) ISTM it’s your choice. In other words, if you aren’t allowed to leave work, you should be getting paid…if it makes the employer feel better, they could have you do some busy work.

Anyways, for all these cases when you’re required to work but not being paid for it, your states Dept Of Labor will be more than happy to step in.

Could have been tips. I had friends in college that left work with quite a wad of cash after their shifts.

There should still be management present. (Forgot about tips)

My current place of employment is very strict about NOT working off the clock, either before or after your shift. It’s one of the things I like about them. They’re also very good about paying time-and-a-half for overtime when you are asked to work additional time.

I know of at least one employee there who was fired because she would NOT stop clocking out and then continuing to work. There’s another trying to get away with the same thing right now. Not sure if she’s going to last, either.

There’s a thread around here about a former employer of mine who attempted to stiff me for four months of wages. It did not end well for her. Funny, but if this sort of thing winds up in court the courts tend to take the stance that people need to be paid for their work and if employers won’t do so willingly Penalties Will Apply.

Basically, I don’t work for free. Neither should anyone else be asked to do that.

Similar to Broomstick’s post. My manager is very strict about us NOT working off the clock. She’s very strict about everyone taking their 15 min break, making sure they go to lunch before hitting the 5 hr mark, and not working after we clock out. One day I wanted to watch a colleague finish putting together some artwork. I was at the end of my shift and so clocked out. I had to say to my manager, “I am now a customer watching an employee do her job,” in order to be able to stay and watch.

That shit is super duper illegal. Employees must be paid for all hours worked.

(Does not apply to salaried exempt employees.)

What are they trying to get away with? What is the advantage of clocking out and then continuing to work?

In a previous job, over 15 years ago, I’d often come in for a couple of unpaid hours to wrap up a few things. I lived right across the street and I had an arrangement with my manager that I could ‘bank’ those hours and leave early on a nice Friday afternoon. That was fine with me. I’ve also worked unofficially at a couple of bars, where i was basically paid in free drinks. It was very informal, if the place got unexpectedly busy and the crowd was younger, I’d hop to the front and check IDs. I’d also help stock the liquor, change kegs, clean up, and occasionally set up an area in the back to sell bottled beers during big football games. I was never an official employee there, but helped out a couple times a week and was happy to work for free drinks.

We’re talking tips. Servers can walk out with several hundred dollars in cash.

Management was present, but busy doing other things to close the restaurant down. It was not unheard of for them to be there until 1am even though the restaurant closed at 10p.

My company has a strict no-working off the clock policy. You’re not even supposed to eat your lunch at your desk and read, although some do and put up a sign saying “At Lunch”. They don’t have a problem paying for approved OT, but you’re supposed to boot up your computer after you clock in, not before. It’s grounds for dismissal, if you’re hourly and caught working off the clock.

manson1972 - They don’t want to be in trouble with the Labor Board. Even if people are committed enough to want to stay and finish their tasks, or fix a problem, they have to be paid for the time. It’s better to pay OT than a big fine.