This week is arguably the busiest shopping week of the year. As Christmas is this week, scores of procrastinating shoppers are expected to hit stores and malls to grab last minute gifts. Retailers are poised to oblige them. Most stores are expected to roll out discounts on selected items, and they are expected to stay open later than usual until Christmas Eve.

The long hours may call for workers to work overtime. While this may be a boom for some employees, others may feel the pressure of being asked to work additional hours, even though they may not want to. Even more troubling, some workers may be asked to work “off the clock” to prepare the store (or merchandise) for the additional sales.

So what should you do if you are in this situation? This post will provide some brief answers. 

Feel empowered to say “no” – Under California and federal law, employers are prohibited from requiring employees to work “off the clock.” This means that any work or duties in preparing a store must be recorded and compensated for. This also applies to requirements to work overtime.

Make sure you are paid properly – If you ultimately decide to work overtime, it is critical that you are paid for your additional labor. If you work more than eight hours in a day, or more than 40 hours in a week, you must be paid time-and-a-half for these hours.

If you have additional questions about proper compensation or wage violation claims, an experienced employment law attorney can help.