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Is it legal to perform work off the clock for an employer?

Most types of work do not permit employers to legally encourage or allow unpaid overtime work . If your employer expects your to work off the clock or even allows you to do so, they may face serious legal liability. Off-the-clock work is generally not legal except for certain kinds of professional and executive workers, or those who work in specific industries. If you are not sure if your own job qualifies you to work unpaid time off the clock, it is wise to look into the specific laws of New Jersey to determine how they may apply to your own experience.

Unpaid work can take many forms, and does not have to be particularly difficult or time consuming. Unpaid work may take the forms of

  • Unpaid reworking or repairing previous work
  • Unpaid administrative work and meetings for business purposes
  • Unpaid preparations made before officially beginning a shift or task
  • Unpaid work after a shift or task, such as cleaning or taking materials or funds to another site.

It is also worth noting that the law requires employers to pay an employee while they wait for another task to arise. If, in the course of your own work, you are on the clock and there is no specific work to do, your employer must still count this as paid time.

If you suspect that your employer does not pay you fairly for the work that you do, then you should carefully examine the grounds you may have to file a claim for back payment. The more that you stand up for your own rights, the greater the rights of others around you who suffer similar mistreatment.

Source: FindLaw, "Is it Illegal to Work 'Off the Clock?'," accessed May 18, 2018

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