Working off the clock

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Working off the clock

I work at a public high school as a custodian, and this position is salaried plus the work day is 7 am to 3 pm. They tell us that we must get up early and check the weather to see if we have to come in a hour early and shovel around the school. So This would be about 5 am to check and be at work at 6 am if necessary. This to me would be working off the clock if we have to wake up and check the weather for them sense the administrative boss I would think would have to do this. We also have no contract saying that we have to do this, shovel yes but not to come in early or check the weather on our time. This has been going on for almost 5 years. A couple of times one of us were sent home when getting to school early to shovel and was told it did not snow enough to be here. The administrative building and grounds boss is there at 6 am everyday.

Asked on November 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are salaried, your salary is the only compensation you receive no matter how early you start working, how late you work, how many hours you work, etc. Salary employees can--and often do--have to work more than their normal hours without extra pay.
You say that you do not have a contract saying that you have to do certain things: that's not the issue. The issue is, do you have a contract which defines your only duties and states that you don't have to do anything not in the contract? If so, you cannot be required to do more than your contarct says. But your employer can make you do anything duties or tasks not prohibited by a contract: it's not that they need a contract to authorize the work, but that you need a contract protecting you from having to do it.

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