There are times when you need to ask your employees to work overtime, either because of a shift in hiring or, there has been a dramatic increase in business. Other times, however, employees might work overtime without permission.

Here’s what you need to know about unauthorized overtime for your hourly employees.

Start with communication

While putting a section in your employee handbook on overtime is helpful, you need to talk to your employees about it. Managers should be trained to convey polices which are consistent with your handbook.

If you do not want employees to work overtime without first obtaining permission from management, then the handbook should reflect that employees must first obtain authorization before working overtime as well as who has authorized to approve overtime.

You must pay it

There are times when employees take it upon themselves to work extra hours. Although you may appreciate the willingness to help, your budget may not be prepared for the expense of overtime, especially if it happens regularly.

Once an employee has worked overtime hours, you must pay them for the work they completed. Even if you instruct employees that they are not supposed to work overtime, you still have to pay them.

Keep in mind that even though you must pay them for the work, you can still give formal warnings or take other disciplinary measures if an employee did not follow company policies on overtime. Instruct your employees on what will happen if they work unauthorized overtime.