Employers are required to compensate employees for all hours worked, “suffered or permitted,” according to the Department of Labor (DOL). That means any time an employee is working on a business-related task, they must be paid for it.
The DOL has made it clear that it doesn’t matter where or when work-related duties are completed, even if they fall outside an employee’s typical schedule—employees must be compensated for having completed them.
While rules differ slightly between exempt employees and nonexempt employees, employers generally have the same obligation: to pay employees for any time worked, no matter where or when it was worked. There is some room for dispute when it comes to unauthorized work, but a good time tracking policy would eliminate much of that possibility.