Required Clocking Out: Employers will sometimes instruct their employees to clock out for mandatory rest breaks, or to clock out at the end of the day but continue working (such as cleaning up). In California, it is illegal to require non-exempt employees to perform off-the-clock work without pay.

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Requiring Employees Come In Early: Employers will often instruct their employees to come in 15 minutes early, before their shift starts. This time must be compensated for non-exempt employees. Official work start time under California law is whenever the employee becomes subject to the employer’s control. Waiting time, where employees are required to be there but aren’t working, is generally considered paid time in California.

Substantial Prep Time: If the job requires the employee to perform a substantial amount of preparatory work, such dressing in specialized gear as or getting their workstation ready, California employers must generally compensate this time, including counting it towards overtime hours.

Training Time: If attendance at training sessions is mandatory, employers are required to pay employees for these hours, including adding them to calculation of overtime hours. Some employers try to pretend that certain training sessions are voluntary, but California law treats training as mandatory if employees are led to believe that non-attendance will negatively affect their job.

Mandatory Meetings: If attendance at a meeting is mandatory, employers in California are required to count these meetings as paid time, including towards overtime hours, even if the meeting occurs outside of normal work hours.

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