Employer-Mandated ''Clocking Out'' at 40 Hours

Federal and state laws require employers to pay workers overtime wages for all time worked beyond 40 hours each week, yet many simply fail or refuse to do so. One of the most common ways in which employers try to avoid paying overtime is by requiring employees to "clock out" at 40 hours, regardless of whether there is still work that must be done. If you have been forced to clock only 40 hours, despite working more in a particular week, contact the Chicago Overtime Law Center. Our team of Chicago overtime lawyers represents clients throughout Illinois and across the country in a variety of claims, including those related to unpaid overtime wages.

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law governing a wide range of wage and hour issues, from minimum wages and tip pools to overtime pay. The law requires an employer to pay workers at a higher, overtime rate for all time worked in excess of 40 hours each week. The overtime rate is usually equal to 1½ times the usual hourly rate. That means that a covered employee who typically makes $25 per hour must be paid $37.50 per hour for any time worked after the 40-hour threshold.

The FLSA applies only to "non-exempt" employees and does not cover those deemed "exempt" under the law (such as those in many executive, administrative, or professional jobs). While the majority of workers nationwide are non-exempt (and therefore eligible for overtime pay), employers often misclassify their employees, costing them the opportunity to earn the wages they are legally entitled.

Misclassification isn't nearly the only way in which your employer may be keeping you from earning overtime, however. In addition to a web of shoddy and inaccurate recordkeeping schemes, some employers simply don't allow workers to officially clock more than 40 hours in a given week, even if they are working much longer. An employer may have standing rule that workers clock out at the 40-hour mark and continue working until a particular task is completed, or the company may require workers to seek "permission" to work more than 40 hours, despite knowing that a certain task will require more time.

In other scenarios, employers will force workers to perform certain parts of their jobs "off the clock." For example, an employer may instruct a worker to arrive earlier than his scheduled shift to do certain prep work or order the employee to clock out before doing clean-up and other end-of-shift tasks. The FLSA mandates employers to pay their workers for all hours worked and this practice is a direct violation of the law. An employee forced to clock only 40 hours while working more than that amount in a given week can sue his or her employer for back pay as well as other penalties and damages.

At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, we are dedicated to ensuring our clients' rights to earn honest pay for an honest day’s work. Our Chicago overtime attorneys provide aggressive representation on behalf of our clients and have successfully represented many employees in overtime claims. Please contact us online or at (312) 869-4095 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an overtime lawyer in the Chicago area.