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Off-The-Clock Work: Is It Legal?


You go above and beyond in your work to impress your boss. But when you’re working outside of your regular hours, you expect to be compensated for your time. But when you’re not, you may have a wage and hour violation case. The New York off-the-clock work attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam explain your legal rights.

What is off-the-clock work?

Considered one of the most common violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), when one works outside of their normal work hours without compensation, this is considered off-the-clock work.

In general, off-the-clock activities include:

  • Standby or On-call time
  • Travel time
  • Call Back time
  • Rest periods
  • Primary work responsibilities outside of normal work hours
  • Lectures, meeting, and training time

Your employer is required by law to keep accurate records of the hours you have worked. However, when your employer tells you not to work overtime, but you must finish your daily tasks or stay behind, this is considered off-the-clock work that you must be compensated for.

Off-The-Clock Work For Exempt Employees

If you are paid at an hourly rate, the rules of off-the-clock work apply to you. However, for salaried workers, there is no such thing as off-the-clock work under FLSA.

However, be mindful of how you are classified because if your employer has you listed as an exempt employee when you are actually more than likely a non-exempt hourly employee, your employer may be finding loopholes to avoid paying overtime.


Examples include:

  • Coming in early and/or staying late, but not having those additional hours documented
  • Pulling extra hours at home at night or on the weekends, with the knowledge of your employer, but are not compensated
  • Responding to work emails outside of business hours
  • Not being told to sign in, use a timecard, or punch in for those additional hours
  • Being asked to work during your lunch break

If these activities take you over the 40-hour workweek, you are entitled to overtime wages, too, unless you are an executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employee.

New York City Off-The-Clock Work Attorneys: Brown Kwon & Lam

You work hard all day long to earn your wages. But when you put in extra time, your employer needs to compensate you. But when they aren’t paying you for your work, you need justice. If your employer is not paying your rightfully earned wages, you may have a lawsuit for unpaid wages. Contact Brown Kwon & Lam, LLP today for your NYC off-the-clock work claim.