California Off The Clock

At the Mara Law Firm we are proud to fight for the rights of California workers through individual litigation and class action lawsuits.


Does Your Employer Owe You Money for Working Off the Clock?

Both California and federal laws typically require employers to pay all non-exempt employees wages for the time they work. A non-exempt employee is one who works hourly. Thus, they are not paid a salary. Federal and California laws differ regarding the payment for hours worked for non-exempt employees. If your employer hasn’t paid you for the hours you worked on or off the clock, you may have a claim. Contact the off-the-clock lawyers in California immediately for help.

“Mara has an ability to cut to the essence of things quickly. I have consulted with Mara several times over the last 9 years and he has provided me with legal advice that has been immensely valuable.” – Jonathan P.

Your Employer Must Pay You for the Hours Worked

Federal employment laws are specific when it comes to employers paying their employees for all hours worked. The term “hours worked” in federal laws means the time:

  • An employee is on duty
  • An employee is on the job premises
  • An employee is at one of their employer’s prescribed workplaces

Hours worked also include all the time when an employee is permitted to work even when they are not required to work. This means that the hours worked aren’t limited to just the hours you are completing job tasks like assembling packages or answering phone calls.

California has a different definition of “hours worked.” Hours worked means the time an employee is required:

  • To be on the job premises
  • At the prescribed workplace
  • At work, during the time their employer should be aware that they are working. This doesn’t mean the employee is required to complete job duties. However, the employer is aware they are there.

The hours worked aren’t limited to an employee doing actual work

This is where California law differs from federal law. Employers are required to pay their employees for off-the-clock work. Off-the-clock work is the time before or after a shift. For example, if your employer knew you worked before or after your shift, they must pay you for it.

Another employer violation is “rounding practices.” This violation occurs when employers shave off time from hours worked by an employee by deducting for meal breaks. This is improper and is against California labor laws.

If your employer participated in “rounding practices” or has not paid you for your off-the-clock work, contact a California off-the-clock lawyer. The Mara Law Firm is devoted to helping clients file off-the-clock claims to get the money they are owed.

What is Off the Clock?

Off-the-clock claims are the result of an employer asking you to work before or after your shift. For example, your employer asks you to come in 30 minutes before your shift begins to put away stock. You do. However, your employer only pays you for the scheduled work even though you worked before your shift started.

Contact The Mara Law Firm about Your Off-the-clock Claims

California Employment Law Attorney David Mara

Federal laws set the minimum standard for all California employers to follow. State laws are sometimes even stricter. It doesn’t matter whether your employer follows California law or federal law, it’s a violation if you work before or after your shift ends and you’re not paid for it. If you didn’t receive payment for those hours, you have the right to seek a legal recourse such as filing a claim. You can contact the Mara Law Firm, we have helped numerous clients achieve favorable outcomes regarding their off-the-clock claims.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney David Mara who has more than 20 years of legal experience in employment law.

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