Blog Post

Claims for unpaid wages, commissions, overtime

Hourly employees must be paid for “off-the-clock work”

Employers must pay hourly employees for all time worked.  Failure to do so can trigger multiple damages and a mandatory award of attorney’s fees.  If you suspect your employer is not paying you for all the work you do, or if you are an employer who is unsure about this issue, contact an employment lawyer. The lawyer will advise the employee of his/her legal rights to recover the unpaid wages, or advise the employer of the legal exposure for not complying with the law.
Below is a list of common mistakes employers make by erroneously characterizing certain kind of work as “off-the-clock.”

  1. The employer does not pay employees who work through meal breaks.
  2. The employer knows the employee is working “off-the clock” to meet deadlines but does not pay for this time.  For example, the employer knows the employee is working from home to finish work but does not pay for this time.
  3. The employer requires the employee to work at a trade show or a charitable event and doesn’t pay the hourly worker, claiming it is “just” part of promoting the business.
  4. If the job requires the hourly worker to wear a specific uniform and equipment, the employer must pay the employee for time spent to put on this gear at the beginning of the day and to shed it at the end of the shift.
  5. If the employee is required to be on call and cannot leave the job site or use his/her own time for personal purposes, the employee must be paid for the on call time.
  6. Travel time during the day, like to a client, another office, or a job site.
  7. The employer must pay for time spent on training for the job.  For example, if the employer requires hourly workers to take a safety class to do the job, the employer cannot say the worker is “off-the-clock” during the training session.

Pamela A. Smith
Law Office of Pamela A. Smith
233 Needham Street, Suite 540
Newton, MA 02464


Blog Archives