Off-the-Clock Wage Violations Under the FLSA & Wisconsin Law

If Your Employer Asks You to Perform Work Tasks Off the Clock, You May Be Entitled to Back-Pay

Attorneys Experienced with Off-the-Clock Wage Violations

One of the most common ways that employers violate the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws is by failing to pay employees for all hours worked. When an employee is allowed to work outside of their recorded work hours but not paid for this time, off-the-clock violations of the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws may occur. Where off-the-clock work is performed for the employer’s benefit and the employer knows or should know that it occurred, the employer must pay for off-the-clock work. Common examples of off-the-clock work include:

  • Pre-shift work: If an employee is allowed to come in prior to his or her scheduled shift start to perform work-related activities, the employer may be required to pay for this time. Common examples of pre-shift work include setting up workstations, attending pre-shift meetings, and gathering tools and materials needed to perform a job.
  • Work performed during unpaid meal periods: Many employers automatically deduct meal periods or require employees to punch out at scheduled meal periods so that employees are not paid for these meal periods. However, if an employee performs work during a meal period, the employee may have a right to be paid for that meal period. In particular, Wisconsin law is very protective of employees’ rights to be paid for on-duty meal periods. If an employee does not have at least 30 consecutive minutes free from work or the employee is not allowed to leave the employer’s workplace for a meal period, Wisconsin law requires that the meal period be paid.
  • Travel time between work locations: Employees that travel between work locations during their work days are required to be paid for their travel time. This is a common issue for home health care workers who must travel to their patient’s homes throughout the day but may only be paid for the hours actually spent at their patient’s homes.
  • Work performed at home: The FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws require employers to pay for all hours worked. As working remotely becomes more prevalent, many employers permit their employees to work at home in addition to at the employer’s workplace. When work is performed at home, the time spent doing so may need to be compensated. Working from home varies from industry to industry but typically can include reading and responding to emails or answering calls, completing paperwork or other work-related reports, and being on-call for hours that require you to remain at home. As technology continues to change how work occurs, work performed at home continues to have the potential to deprive employees of pay they are owed under the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws.
  • Post-shift work: When an employee is required to stay beyond the end of their scheduled shift to complete work-related activities, the employer may be required to pay for the work performed past the end of the shift. Examples of post-shift work include cleaning work areas, machines, or vehicles; staying late to finish performing a task that began before the shift ended; post-shift turnover meetings, or putting away tools or materials, or performing re-work to correct issues that occurred during the shift.

Why Off-the-Clock Work Happens

The federal FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws require employers to pay their employees for all hours worked and time and half their regular rates for hours worked over forty in a workweek. This typically includes all time spent performing off-the-clock work that is integral and indispensable to employees’ jobs. While many employers are not aware of this requirement, some employers ignore the law or off-the-clock work in an attempt to avoid paying employees’ wages. Employers may also improperly inform their employees that off-the-clock work is not “work” and therefore state that they do not have to pay for it. Because employees often rely on their employers to inform them of their rights in the workplace, many employees may perform off-the-clock work and not realize that they have a right to be paid for it. Fortunately, the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws support an employee’s right to be paid for off-the-clock work that is key to the employee’s job.

Our Wisconsin Wage and Hour Attorneys Will Fight for your Right to Unpaid Wages

The experienced Wisconsin wage and hour attorneys at Hawks Quindel have assisted thousands of employees in recovering their unpaid wages. If you suspect that your agreed-upon wage rights have been violated, our wage and hour team will provide you with a free case evaluation to answer your questions and evaluate your potential claims.

Please contact Hawks Quindel if you would like to discuss your wage rights under federal FLSA or Wisconsin wage and hour laws. Please call a Madison wage attorney directly at (608) 257-0040 or a Milwaukee wage attorney at (414) 271-8650, or email us via our Contact Page.

Attorneys Experienced with Off-the-Clock Wage Violations

One of the most common ways that employers violate the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws is by failing to pay employees for all hours worked. When an employee is allowed to work outside of their recorded work hours but not paid for this time, off-the-clock violations of the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws may occur. Where off-the-clock work is performed for the employer’s benefit and the employer knows or should know that it occurred, the employer must pay for off-the-clock work. Common examples of off-the-clock work include:

  • Pre-shift work: If an employee is allowed to come in prior to his or her scheduled shift start to perform work-related activities, the employer may be required to pay for this time. Common examples of pre-shift work include setting up workstations, attending pre-shift meetings, and gathering tools and materials needed to perform a job.
  • Work performed during unpaid meal periods: Many employers automatically deduct meal periods or require employees to punch out at scheduled meal periods so that employees are not paid for these meal periods. However, if an employee performs work during a meal period, the employee may have a right to be paid for that meal period. In particular, Wisconsin law is very protective of employees’ rights to be paid for on-duty meal periods. If an employee does not have at least 30 consecutive minutes free from work or the employee is not allowed to leave the employer’s workplace for a meal period, Wisconsin law requires that the meal period be paid.
  • Travel time between work locations: Employees that travel between work locations during their work days are required to be paid for their travel time. This is a common issue for home health care workers who must travel to their patient’s homes throughout the day but may only be paid for the hours actually spent at their patient’s homes.
  • Work performed at home: The FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws require employers to pay for all hours worked. As working remotely becomes more prevalent, many employers permit their employees to work at home in addition to at the employer’s workplace. When work is performed at home, the time spent doing so may need to be compensated. Working from home varies from industry to industry but typically can include reading and responding to emails or answering calls, completing paperwork or other work-related reports, and being on-call for hours that require you to remain at home. As technology continues to change how work occurs, work performed at home continues to have the potential to deprive employees of pay they are owed under the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws.
  • Post-shift work: When an employee is required to stay beyond the end of their scheduled shift to complete work-related activities, the employer may be required to pay for the work performed past the end of the shift. Examples of post-shift work include cleaning work areas, machines, or vehicles; staying late to finish performing a task that began before the shift ended; post-shift turnover meetings, or putting away tools or materials, or performing re-work to correct issues that occurred during the shift.

Why Off-the-Clock Work Happens

The federal FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws require employers to pay their employees for all hours worked and time and half their regular rates for hours worked over forty in a workweek. This typically includes all time spent performing off-the-clock work that is integral and indispensable to employees’ jobs. While many employers are not aware of this requirement, some employers ignore the law or off-the-clock work in an attempt to avoid paying employees’ wages. Employers may also improperly inform their employees that off-the-clock work is not “work” and therefore state that they do not have to pay for it. Because employees often rely on their employers to inform them of their rights in the workplace, many employees may perform off-the-clock work and not realize that they have a right to be paid for it. Fortunately, the FLSA and Wisconsin wage laws support an employee’s right to be paid for off-the-clock work that is key to the employee’s job.

Our Wisconsin Wage and Hour Attorneys Will Fight for your Right to Unpaid Wages

The experienced Wisconsin wage and hour attorneys at Hawks Quindel have assisted thousands of employees in recovering their unpaid wages. If you suspect that your agreed-upon wage rights have been violated, our wage and hour team will provide you with a free case evaluation to answer your questions and evaluate your potential claims.

Please contact Hawks Quindel if you would like to discuss your wage rights under federal FLSA or Wisconsin wage and hour laws. Please call a Madison wage attorney directly at (608) 257-0040 or a Milwaukee wage attorney at (414) 271-8650, or email us via our Contact Page.

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