Can I be made to work off the clock?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be made to work off the clock?

During my 2 week training at a restaurant, I made a batch of cookies that didn’t come out well and we didn’t find out until a week later. My boss gave me the choice of either it coming out of my paycheck or making me stay after scheduled hours, clocking out and re-doing the whole 2 batches, which added up to about 3 hours. They’ve done this to several other employees as well. They claim that they’re too small of a business to fall under certain laws and regulations. Is this legal for them to do?

Asked on December 5, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal, and the wage and hour laws (e.g. the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA) applies to *all* employers. An hourly employee must be paid for all hours worked, including overtime for hours over 40 in a week. There is no such thing as legal off the clock work. What they can do, if they think you ruined cookies, is to fire you, demote you, suspend, reduce your hours, etc.--there are plenty of actions they can take. But requiring you to work without pay is not one of them.

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