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I was told by my boss that I cannot work overtime, but then I got stuck there answering phones and taking care of a customer. So I did not get to clock out until 5:50. My shift ends at 5:30. So since I was there 20 minutes over I was told that I have to leave 20 minutes early the next day, and not get overtime pay for that time.

I work for a retail mail order company.

Can an employer do this and not pay you for the time?

closed as off-topic by Wesley Long, The Wandering Dev Manager, Masked Man, paparazzo, HorusKol May 21 '17 at 3:57

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  • 5
    You are getting time off in lieu. So what is the problem? – Ed Heal May 21 '17 at 1:54
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    What country? If in the US, are you exempt or non-exempt? – Patricia Shanahan May 21 '17 at 1:55
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    Depends on the country and local laws and the terms of your employment. – Paul May 21 '17 at 1:55
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    I've coded overtime calculations before. The rules I was told to implement were based on the week, not the day. Time over 40 hours in the week = overtime. Period. Obviously the rules can vary from place to place. – Loren Pechtel May 21 '17 at 8:07
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    My (UK) contract only allows payment for overtime if it's approved in advance and then only if it lasts more than 30 minutes. Time off in lieu is the standard way of dealing with extra time outside those parameters. Your boss has a blanket ban on overtime, which you worked anyway: TOIL seems at least reasonable, if not more than reasonable. – Andrew Leach May 21 '17 at 9:47
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It depends on where you are, and how many hours you had worked that day, or that week.

As a general rule, however, yes, your employer can do this.

Employers have a right to set your schedule so that it equals a certain number of hours in a week.

Employers often manage schedules to maximize part-time workers, minimize full-time workers, and as a result pay less toward employee health care and other benefits.

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