If our nonprofit part-time employees are hired to work 20 hours per week but they volunteer for more hours, is it legal to only pay 20 hours?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately it is not legal: hourly employees must be paid for all hours worked, and they may not volunteer to work extra hours without pay. (The reason for this rule is that otherwise, many unscrupulous employers would pressure their employees to "volunteer" free work.) If they currently making more than minimum wage, you could reduce what they are paid for the extra hours (beyond the 20) to minimum to save costs--employees may be paid at different rates for different shifts or tasks, so long as they remain above minimum.

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