Ask HR: Do I have to pay unapproved overtime?

askHRDear HR: My employee is scheduled to work eight hours per shift. They are clocking in early and staying late all the time causing several over time hours per week. Can I just pay them for the eight hours they were scheduled for each shift?


HR Answer: Under Federal and Oregon wage laws, employers are required to pay employees for all work that is ‘suffered or permitted’ to work. Even if you did not want or authorize them to work, in most cases you will still be obligated to pay for it. A best practice is to have a specific policy in place regarding unauthorized overtime. Then if your employee continues to violate your policy, it is considered a performance issue and may warrant discipline. If you would like assistance implementing a work time policy or updating your employee handbook, please feel free to contact us.