If you clock in and out when you go to work, the hours you should get paid for may seem very clear. But, even then, it’s all too easy to get into the habit of doing work-related tasks unpaid.

Here are a few examples of work-related tasks you should and should NOT get paid to do.

What’s required of you

As a rule of thumb, if you’re required to do something for work, you should get paid for it. This could include:

  • Safety or planning meetings
  • Training sessions
  • Other work-related meetings
  • Time spent traveling for work — not to and from work

In some scenarios, you may be offered to do a work-related task as an option. But, if the task is related to work and an employee — whether it be your or not — must complete the task, it should be paid time. For example, if you work in a restaurant and are offered to go to a farmer's market or another facility to carry produce back, the time should be paid.

You should also be paid for any cleaning you need to do once you are finished with your work.

Work-related tasks you should NOT get paid for

Some tasks seem work-related. But, if they’re not required, you shouldn’t get paid for them. This may include:

  • Holiday parties
  • Intramural games
  • Other optional gatherings

This area can get tricky. For example, a mandatory team lunch should be paid, even if a lunch break would usually go unpaid.

Ask for a second opinion

If you don’t think your employer is paying you for work-related tasks, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from an attorney. A lawyer can help you understand if you’re missing out on wages you’ve worked for and can also fight for your right to these payments.

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