Most employees are required to punch a clock before they begin working and when leaving after their shifts. Once they are no longer on the clock, they should not be working. If a Texas employer forces its workers to perform their duties while they are not being paid, the employees could be missing out on a considerable amount of wages and/or overtime.
A group of workers for Chipotle in another state are alleging that the company denied them payment for all of the hours that they worked. In their complaint, they accused the company of forcing them to work off the clock. The plaintiffs allege that this was done to keep payroll costs down.
According to the plaintiffs, the restaurant chain fostered an environment that suggested managers should force their employees to not be on the clock for the entire time that they worked. Allegedly, the workers were punching out before their shifts were finished and were then instructed to continue working. The employees believe that because of these actions they were not properly compensated for overtime and regular wages. The general managers were purportedly rewarded if they were able to keep costs down and punished if they were not.
It is against the law for employers to request their workers to perform their duties without compensation. Texas workers who find themselves in similar situations may choose to pursue legal actions in pursuit of the wages to which they believe to be entitled. If a claim is successfully navigated, employees may be awarded their lost income, as well as any other related financial losses deemed just by the court. A company may also be forced by the court to revisit its policies to ensure that illegal activities do not occur again in the future.
Source: kwgn.com, "Lawsuit alleges Chipotle employees were forced to work without pay", Chuck Hickey, Feb. 12, 2015