Working off the clock--is it ok for your boss to ask this of you?

@vokey9472 (1489)
United States
May 12, 2007 4:18pm CST
Ok, I got this great little job at a coffee house. I love it there except for one thing. When I have to close the store, I have to stay until 630pm, but I only get paid until 6pm. This means that I work 30 minutes off the clock. During this time, I have to clean the espresso machine, count down 2 registers and do the credit card settlements. It is my understanding that having an hourly employee work off the clock is illegal. Also, should I get hurt while working off the clock, I cannot claim worker's comp nor does the company's insurance cover me if I am off the clock. I am at a loss as to what to do about this. I really like the job, I cannot and will not work for free. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I get the feeling that my boss is of the opinion that if I don't like it, I don't have to work there.
3 people like this
4 responses
@chloe9013 (532)
12 May 07
I completely agree with you. I hate it when my work tries to not pay me but i some let it go alot because unfortunatly they can sack you if they dont like that you complain and there is always someone out there ready to do the free work for the job so i always feel i am risking my job if i speak up about it. And alot of the things that i dont think is right is in the contract so i can't say anything.. Like i have to be in 15mins early of i loose 15mins from the time i start of paid work which is unfair because i am very quick to start work when i get in so i end up working those free minutes i come in. Also that means sometimes i dont even get paid breaks and somedays i dont even get proper breaks depending on which boss is in (which was suposed to have been sorted during the last meeting) But yes.. unfortunatly people will try to screw you over if they can because its all about meeting targets and making money off you. If it is in your contract to only get paid till 6pm and continue till everything is done, then there is nothing you can do about it other than quit. but if it is a "its just how things are done" and its not contracted then you have the right to say something about it. GO READ YOUR CONTRACT and see what they have managed to take off you. I wish i read mine first so i new what they were up to (dam me for skimming it! although i still like my job and would have signed it anyway) Good luck and i hope what ever you do makes you happy :)
@vokey9472 (1489)
• United States
12 May 07
I am not sure where you are located but I am in Texas and we don't have contracts for hourly employees in the food service industry. I am basically making $6 an hour. Basically our employment laws state that you cannot have an hourly employee work off the clock. You have to pay them for the time that they work. I used to be in management and that is how I know it is against the law. The other employees who are just out of high school dont complain because they have no idea that they are being taken advantage of. I had one girl tell me that it is just her fault for not being able to get everything done by 6. I am going to bring it up at our employee meeting. I really do love my job and I would hate to see my boss lose his business paying fines over refusig to pay an additonal $3 to an employee. That would just be silly.
• United States
18 May 07
That is so illegal! I would do something about it. If I were you,I would see if I could get ahold of a free legal advice help line and ask them what to do and that you are working off the clock and afraid of losing your job.
1 person likes this
@vokey9472 (1489)
• United States
19 May 07
I was told to try to resolve it with my boss and then file a complaint with the workforce commission. I told my boss that I don't work for free. My hours got cut from 25 to 8. I told my boss I don't do 2 hour shifts and was told that was the only time I was needed. I got yelled at for my boss mispelling my name and then got yelled at for cashing my paycheck. I told my hubby and he said (I quote) "you don't need that, just quit" so I quit.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 May 07
good for you! I hope you told him off when you did !
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 07
thanks for the best response
• United States
18 May 07
Unfortunatley a lot of bosses do this. You are right when you say that if you get hurt and are not on the clock the companies insurance will not pay. That is why it is not good to do this. There are a lot of people out there wanting jobs so I would assume this is why your boss does this because if you do not like it he can tell you to leave if you don't like it and there is always someone there to fill the position. I think I would be having a discussion with my boss. Although as you say it could jeopardize your job. But think about if something happened on the time you were not clocked in. Would your boss go to bat for you. Unless I am wrong I think not.
1 person likes this
@vokey9472 (1489)
• United States
19 May 07
I did talk to my boss (the owner) about it. He got mad and told me that if I was doing my job the right way, I wouldn't have to stay more than 15 minutes past 6pm. I told that that I still needed to be paid for that 15minutes and he got even angrier. I love the coffee shop, I love my fellow employees and I love my customers, but this job isnt worth the hassle. I quit.
• United States
21 May 07
having you punch out early is illegal if he insists you stay til 6:30.on a 5 day schedule,that's 2 hrs 30 minutes you're not getting paid for.