Is it legalfor mehave to open the workplace in the morning and clock in afterwards?

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Is it legalfor mehave to open the workplace in the morning and clock in afterwards?

I am a non-exempt employee. I was hired as a lead but shortly after being hired I was given a key and was told that I now share the responsibility of opening the workplace in the morning. I am not paid to do this. I can’t clock in until I can turn on a register so a few minutes go by. The company over stresses not working off the clock, but when I brought this up to my supervisor I was told that this was not an issue. This is working off the clock to me. I have also recently learned that others with my company working at a different location with the same job title do not have this added responsibility.

Asked on October 29, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Opening up the workplace IS work--there's simply no doubt about that. You need to be paid for all work you do, including work before your official "shift" or the nominal start of your workday. Therefore, your employer needs to pay you for the time you spend opening up the workplace, turning on the register, etc. If they don't, they are in violation of wage and hour laws. (And note: if you end up working more than 40 hours in a week because of this, all hours over 40 are payable at time and half, or overtime.) This is no small matter; if it takes you 6 minutes per day, you are being underpaid by 30 minutes a week, or 2 hours per month. You can contact the labor department to file a complaint or bring a legal cause of action yourself.


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