Is it legal for an employer to ask me to work time off the clock and then fire me when I don’t do so?

.

Asked on November 18, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal. All work time is compensable time. In other words, an employee is entitled to be paid for all work done for their employer. Asking an employee to work for no pay is illegal.
Notwithstanding the above, in an "at will" employment arrangement, an employer can set the terms of work much as it deems necesary or sees fit. Therefore, an employer can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.
That having been said, you still have the issue of working off the clock. At this point, you can consult with an employment law attorney and/or file a complaint with your state's department of labor.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no.
Yes in that your employer may ask you to work beyond your normal shift (e.g. evenings, weekends, holidays, etc.) and terminate you if you fail to do so.
No in that if you are an hourly employee, you can't be required to work off the clock; you must be paid for all hours worked. Firing you for not working for no pay--that's what working "off the clock" means; being forced to work for free--is illegal, because making you work without pay would be a violation of the labor laws (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSL). You may wish to contact your state department of labor to file a complaint, or else speak with an employment law attorney about possibly bringing a lawsuit.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.