Off the clock work

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Off the clock work

I am a nurse/lactation consultant working in a hospital salary. I am a non-exempt status and clock in and out for regularly scheduled shifts. We are being required to do a presentation at one of our monthly staff meetings. We have been told that this requirement is mandatory. In order to prepare for this presentation we are expected to use our time off at home to research a topic and then become knowledgeable on the topic and write up a presentation to present at a staff meeting. I have in writing from my management team that we are being expected to do whatever research and prep time is required for this on our own tone and will not be paid for it. It seems to me that the FLSA would dictate we are paid for whatever time we work on this project since it is required for our job. Also, the department is using the presentations as a way to apply for and provide continuing education hours to employees, so they are benefiting from this. Is this in violation of the law?

Asked on April 5, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether the off-the-clock work is mandatory--you must spend your time after or other than on-shift doing it--or "merely" highly recommended--that is, if you don't do it, you will likely look bad by not being fully prepared, but you could, if you were willing to take that risk, skip the off-the-clock work. If required, you must be paid for it; if not required but merely a good idea, you are not. You describe a situation where it not clear cut: you are "expected" to research a topic and become knowledgeable about it, but what if you are already knowledgeable? What if you don't need research and prep time? If you did no off the clock work but turned in a good presentation, would you be punished for not doing the off-the-clock work? If you would not be, then that suggests it is not required and so not paid.

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