Can my boss force me to clock out before allowing me to leave work?

In the United States, courtrooms have found employers in the middle of many controversial labor and wage disputes over the years. While some laws have changed, problems still persist across industries. In fact, they are not uncommon.

One of the most frequent issues in cases against employers invoIves wages. If you have ever heard someone say an employer made him or her clock out while continuing to work, you may have wondered, “Are they allowed to do that?”

Employers cannot force you to clock out before allowing you to leave work

Simply put, the answer to this question is a big “no.” According to the law, this is a form of wage theft. Furthermore, it violates requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Some employers are still getting away with wage theft

Although it is illegal, this practice continues today. While wage theft can occur in any job, accounting researchers found that the food and service industry had the most instances of it happening across a recent analysis. In general, employees who earn the lowest wages tend to be the most vulnerable to companies’ taking advantage of them in this way.

You can and should speak up

If your boss or manager has forced you to clock out at work before allowing you to leave work, it is against the law. You deserve fair wages, and there are laws to protect you against retalliation from your employer. Do not be afraid to speak up!

Understanding your rights and the protections the law provides can help you avoid falling victim to illegal labor practices like wage theft.

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