Part of my job entailed calling substitute teachers in the morning, before my work day started, I was not paid for any of the extra work over the past 7 years 45-60 minutes a day. What can I do?

Work at private school in West LA, CA
For about 45-60 minutes each morning for the past 7 years, before the start of
work, I was to check a voicemail line and call in any subs as needed.
I was never paid for any extra time.
When I brought this to their attention, I was told I could leave early on Fridays,
but that never came to fruition, and impossible to work out for my schedule.
Recently gave my notice, want to be compensated for my time.

Asked on April 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you were a salaried employee, you would not be entitled to any additional compenstion for the extra time: your weekly salary is the total or full compensation you get for all the work you do each week.
If you were hourly, you should have been paid for that time since it was work, even if done before the nominal start of work hours. (Regardless of when performed, hourly employees must be paid for all work done.) If you were not paid for it, you could file a wage claim with the state department of labor and/or file a lawsuit for the money. (Speak with the state first; they will advise if you can or should sue on your own, or if instead they can help you.) You can only claim unpaid wages back three years in your state. If you worked any extra, say, 4 hours a week (a bit less than 1 hour/day) for, say, 40 weeks per year, that would be up to 160 hours per year, or around 480 hours total, for which you might receive compensation.

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