Do I have to pay for time an employee is on the clock but not working overtime?

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Do I have to pay for time an employee is on the clock but not working overtime?

Do I have to pay for time and employee is on the clock but not working overtime? An employee is posing a lawsuit based on the fact that they were not paid for minutes that they are on the clock after their shift has ended. No work has been completed during that time just standing around talking to co-

workers.

Asked on November 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If they were told (or knew) their shift was over and that they were to stop working, then their failure to clock out does NOT entitle them to any payment, whether base pay or overtime; employers, not employees, control when employees may work. Their refusal or failure to clock out does not override the employer's instructions as to hours.
If on the other hand they were allowed to "stay on the clock"--were not told to clock out, stop work, go home, etc.--then they would be entitled to pay even if not actually working. If an employer lets an employee stay at the workplace on the clock and *could* tell them to work if the employer wanted, then the fact that they are not in fact working does not change the fact that while being on the clock, at work, with employer consent, they are considered to be working and so must be paid. 
So as you see, it depends, it depends on the circumstances.


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