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Is it legal for employers to ask for work off-the-clock.?
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Is it legal for employers to ask for work off-the-clock.?

My girlfriend works at a daycare in East Tennessee, and they routinely ask their employees to work off-the-clock. Her shift is supposed to be from 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., but the owners tell her that she shouldn't clock in until she has a minimum number of children she's watching. This commonly results in her not clocking in until she has already worked 30 minutes to 1 hour, so my question is:
Is it legal for the owners to tell the employees to do work without clocking in?
I already dislike her job because it seems like a very gossipy environment, and the owners try to get their fingers in all the employee's personal lives (telling them they can't hang out outside work, etc.), but this seems illegal. Is it in Tennessee?

Being forced to work off the clock is not legal in any state. Contact your states Department of Labor and report that employer. They will get their act straight after that :)

not legal......have your friend document everythiing then contact the State's Dept of Labor.

Yes it IS illegal to ask any employees to work off the clock. For one, they aren't getting paid for time they are mandated to be at the job. Two, if your girlfriend should get hurt on the job while off the clock (ie: what if she fell down steps, or hurt her back lifting a child?), she would not be covered under worker's compensation because an employee must be on the clock at the time of the injury. What the employer SHOULD do if they don't have enough kids at say 7:30 to have the employees clock in is a) the owner should watch the children who are there herself (with no other employees coming into work until they can punch in) or b) have one employee come in at 7:30, punch in, schedule another employee for 8:00 and the rest for 8:30. If it continues, I would tell your gf to call the labor board to report the situation.

As for telling employees they can't hang out outside of work...that's a real stretch. What justification would she have to mandate that? Its one thing for companies to have a "no dating" rule, or managers not "hanging out" with their employees outside work, but to have hourly employees banned from socializing outside work is a real stretch. Is it legal, probably yes,, so her only recourse here would be to quit.

Lora B
It's illegal no matter what state you live in. If she is expected to be at work at a specific time, she should be paid from that time on.

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