Whether your Florida employer calculates your hours manually or relies on a computer to keep track, you may assume your paycheck accurately reflects the number of hours you work. However, are you certain?
If you are an hourly employee, state and federal laws require your employer to pay you time and a half for every hour you work over 40 in a week. Unfortunately, many employers realize they must pay extra if you reach 40 hours, so they find dishonest ways to cheat you out of the time you contribute on the job. If you are unaware of the illegal methods for stealing your wages, you may be losing money without knowing it.
The clock is ticking
Signing or logging in at the start of your shift may start the clock counting the hours for which your employer will pay you. However, does your employer require you to show up early to set up your work area, organize your tools or do paperwork? Do you clock out at the end of your scheduled shift but continue working until your assignments are complete?
Even if it is only a few minutes of work before you clock in, those minutes can quickly add up. You may easily work 40 hours by the end of the week, but your time sheet may show only 30. Multiply this by the weeks and years you have been at the job and you may be losing a substantial amount of money.
Requiring you to work before or after you clock in is illegal. It is one common way that employers avoid paying overtime to workers who legitimately deserve the extra pay. You may also be losing income if your employer illegally requires any of the following:
- Answering phones or working through your meal break
- Attending mandatory meetings or training off the clock during your normal work shift
- Clocking out to make corrections or redo work
- Taking work home to complete or answering job-related emails on your own time
- Clocking out during down time between customers
- Travel between job sites without compensation
Even if you volunteer to work off the clock, your employer is breaking the law by allowing it or encouraging it. You have the right to the money you earn for the time you put in. If you believe your employer is stealing wages by making you work off the clock, you have a right to seek aggressive legal representation to reclaim what is rightfully yours.