An employer should pay their employee for any time they work, even if it is off the clock. The interesting twist in this is if the employer reprimands and directs the employee not to work overtime or not to work off the clock and the employee does it again, then that entitles them to be fired by the employer.
Due to the many nuances associated with such a claim, it is important to consult with an off-the-clock lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible. An experienced Tampa wage and hour attorney can build a claim to try and produce a successful recovery on your behalf.
Working When Told Not To
If the employer knows the employee is working off the clock and tells them not to but continues to allow them to work off the clock, they still have to pay that employee overtime even though they told the employee not to work overtime. An individual can fight for such compensation through the use of an off-the-clock attorney in Tampa.
This is because if the employer is reaping the benefits of an individual’s work and they are working more than 40 hours that week, they deserve to get paid.
Any time overtime is worked, even if it is against the employer’s demands, they owe that employee time and a half which is why, sometimes, there are policies in place that an individual should not work any overtime. Such policies can be best explored by a Tampa off-the-clock lawyer.
Working at Home
If hourly workers that are non-exempt employees take work home with them and work through the night, they have to be paid for that work. If they do not go over 40 hours, including the work at home, then an individual does not have to be paid overtime, but if they go over 40 hours with the work that they are doing at home, then an individual has to pay them as an employer time and a half for all of the hours worked.
If the employer does not know that the employee’s working at home, then they may have an argument that they do not have to pay for that overtime. However, if they know that they gave the employee a big job to do that is going to take all night, and the next morning comes and the project is done, then that knowledge may be constructive or imputed on the employer.
In this instance, the employer will be expected to know that that work was done at home, and that employee needs to be paid overtime for that work done. Even if the employee says they do not want the money, they will still have to be paid overtime. Such conflicts can be best handled using an off-the-clock attorney in Tampa.
Proving Off-the-Clock Work
Proving off-the-clock work is difficult. As an employee and a plaintiff in these cases, an individual has the burden to prove that they worked overtime. Once the individual meets that burden through testimony from the plaintiff or any other witnesses that say they were working more than 40 hours a week, the burden is then on the defendant to show how they kept track of time and the record-keeping to show that the individual did not work more than 40 hours a week.
The reason the statute is set up this way is because the plaintiff does not have the clock-in, clock-out data and do not have control of the time clock. They do not have control of the record-keeping. That is why the courts put the burden on the defendant to bring that evidence to show that this employee was only working 40 hours a week, clocked in, clocked out, and have proof of every minute that the employee was there.
The employee can still testify that they may have been forced to clock out early but keep working. If the business owner does not have a way of keeping track of how much time their employees worked, it is almost impossible for them to prove that this employee did not work overtime.
To best process a claim associated with off-the-clock work, it is important that an individual consult with an experienced Tampa off-the-clock attorney immediately to begin building a claim.