Is it legal for your manager to force you to come in and work off the clock without pay if he/she was not satisfied with a cleaning job?

UPDATED: Feb 16, 2012

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Is it legal for your manager to force you to come in and work off the clock without pay if he/she was not satisfied with a cleaning job?

I work at a yogurt shop and my manager sent out a memo saying that if she was not satisfied about our cleaning job at closing she will make us come in and work off the clock. I have learned also that if we refuse it will be a risk to our job and we may be terminated. Is my boss allowed to do this?

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The answers to your questions are no and yes:

No, in that you cannot be required to "work off the clock"--if you are an hourly employee, you have to be paid for all hours worked, including time spent redoing work which had not been done in a satisfactory manner.

Yes, in that unless you have an employment contract--and the vast majority of people do not--you may be fired at any time, for any reason that is not illegal discrimination (that is, as long as you're not being fired due to your race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability, etc. it is legal). That includes being fired for doing a bad job cleaning. So your boss cannot make you clean for free; but she could fire you for not cleaning well in the first place.

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.

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