Is it legal if I’m employed by a fast food chain and told to clock out early even though I am still there working?

I usually work nights where I have to close up the store. However, with that said I’m scheduled from 5:45 PM to 10:30 PM. When sometimes the store closes later and I would have to stay up until 10:55 or even 11 PM. However, my manager always makes me clock out by 5:45 PM at the latest because they said they don’t want to break the “break rule violation”. I’m told to continue working for 10-20 more minutes off the clock for no pay. Looking up laws it seems illegal, and not to sure on if it’s truly illegal what my company is doing and how I should approach the situation if it is illegal.

Asked on July 15, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is truly illegal: hourly employees need to be paid for all time worked; and if they work more than 40 hours in a week, all time after the 40th hour is paid at overtime (time-and-half) rates. There is no such thing as legal "off the books" work, and if that caused complications with break rules, too bad--the employer needs to deal with it. Your options are, if your employer will not pay you, as they should, for your full time is to either speak to your state (or the federal; but start by trying the state) labor department about this wages and hours violation; or speak with an employment law attorney about bringing a legal action.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.