Working For Free Is Illegal
Last month British Airways asked its British-based employees to volunteer for a month of unpaid work. Several of the employees waived their right to their pay because they feared losing their job. However, while it may be legal to volunteer for non-profits and organizations alike, it is illegal for commercial companies not to pay their workers.
Some employers illegally ask their employees to clock in extra hours at work without proper compensation. If you have ever done this, or this has ever happened to you - note that it is illegal in the State of California to work overtime without being compensated.
In fact, the overtime pay rate minimum is 1.5 times the normal hourly pay for every hour in excess of forty hours a week. If you work more than 8 hours in one day compensation should be 1.5 times the normal rate and for more than 12 hours of work in a day the rate is henceforth doubled. Legally, an employer can’t fire an employee seeking compensation for hours worked overtime.
There is also a myth that salaried employees with management titles are not entitled to overtime pay. However, the overtime pay is calculated by averaging their annual salary (with bonus) and dividing the average number of hours worked in a year. Regardless of your title or compensation method, every employee is entitled to overtime pay.
Employers remember : you have a legal obligation to keep accurate time records for all employees entitled to overtime pay.
In other words, make sure everyone is being properly compensated at your work. Working for free (especially for commercial companies) is illegal. It’s just not fair if someone else is profiting from your free, hard work. Make sure you know your rights!