Can an employer require an employee to come into work early to setup their computer without being paid?

My scheduled shift is 12 to 9, so when I
come in at 12 it takes about 10 minutes
to setup my computer. The company time
clock only clocks the employee in once
the computer is fully setup. So I’m
being accused of being late because I
don’t clock in until 1210 when though
I’m on time at 12. Is it legal to have
employees come in 10 minutes before
their shift in order to clock in on
time?

Asked on December 22, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can be made to come in before your official shift would normally start--employers determine when you have to work and are not bound by the shifts they themselvses assign you--but MUST pay you for all time you are working. Working includes setting up your computer, logging in, etc. Any time you spend doing something necessary for your job and required by the employer is "work" and must be paid. So they can either start paying you at 12:00, when you come in, even if you can't begin actual doing your job proper until 12:10; or they can start paying you at 11:50 if you come in early to take care of the set-up.
If they not pay you for all time spent working, you could contact your state department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint.


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