Working over? Don’t do so without clocking in

Have you ever clocked out at the end of the day and then realized you had more work to do? Maybe someone stopped you in the hallway on your way out and asked you to run a quick errand. It might only take a few minutes to wrap up what you have to do, but when you start adding up each time you stay late and haven’t clocked back in, you could be missing out on several hours of pay per pay period.

This kind of wage issue isn’t uncommon. Many employers don’t even think it’s a big deal, because it’s five minutes here or 10 minutes there. However, think about how quickly that adds up. If you earn $30 an hour and stay 15 minutes late each day off the clock, you’re missing out on around an hour and 15-minutes’ worth of pay. That’s somewhere around $37.50 a week and $75 per two-week pay period. Essentially, you’re losing anywhere from $175 to $212.15 per month depending on how the pay periods fall.

Seeing how minimal time spent off the clock adds up may help you be more aware

If you still don’t think that the time you’re working off the clock adds up to much, consider keeping a journal for just a week. Note the times you clock in and out as well as the time you spend doing any work off the clock. That “five-minute task” might actually have been much longer than you realized, and not clocking in for it could mean that you’re missing out on substantial pay.

If you start to notice that you are working a significant amount of time past when you clock out, talk to your employer about extending your day or changing the way you work to make sure all tasks are done before you leave for the day. Once you clock out, you should not be doing any additional work. If you need to, take the time to clock back in or ask your employer to add the time to your paycheck. There is no point at which you should ever be working for free. If your employer won’t add your time, then this could be a situation involving wage theft.

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