Do I have to pay for time an employee is on the clock but not working overtime?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I have to pay for time an employee is on the clock but not working overtime?

Do I have to pay for time and employee is on the clock but not working overtime? An employee is posing a lawsuit based on the fact that they were not paid for minutes that they are on the clock after their shift has ended. No work has been completed during that time just standing around talking to co-


Asked on November 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If they were told (or knew) their shift was over and that they were to stop working, then their failure to clock out does NOT entitle them to any payment, whether base pay or overtime; employers, not employees, control when employees may work. Their refusal or failure to clock out does not override the employer's instructions as to hours.
If on the other hand they were allowed to "stay on the clock"--were not told to clock out, stop work, go home, etc.--then they would be entitled to pay even if not actually working. If an employer lets an employee stay at the workplace on the clock and *could* tell them to work if the employer wanted, then the fact that they are not in fact working does not change the fact that while being on the clock, at work, with employer consent, they are considered to be working and so must be paid. 
So as you see, it depends, it depends on the circumstances.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption