If you are new to a job, it is natural that you want to do your best. Not only to impress your boss, but to establish yourself as the go to person at your organization or office. Sometimes employers will take advantage of this tenacity and determination and ask an unwitting employee to work overtime or work “off the clock.”

Depending on the tone of the request, you may feel like you are compelled to work overtime, or to perform work related duties while not being paid for them. In these situations, what should you do?

As a practical matter, your boss is allowed to ask you to work overtime, but he or she will have to pay overtime for the extra hours of labor you perform. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a standard work week is 40 hours. As such, any hours of work that exceed this standard must be paid at time-and –a-half. Also, California state law establishes an eight hour workday. Any hours worked exceeding this standard must also be paid at time-and-a-half.

So while you may be asked, or even required at times, to work overtime, keep in mind that you may be entitled to additional pay. This additional time could include prep time for your shift, cleaning up after your shift, loading supplies or even taking inventory. So if you are asked to perform additional work but are not being paid for it, speak with an experienced employment law attorney.

The preceding is not legal advice.