CanI be forced by the labor department to pay overtime to an employee who deliberately signs in and out at their convenience?

Asked on September 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have to pay overtime to employees who actually work more than 40 hours in a week, for all hours worked over 40. However:

1) You are the employer. You have the right to NOT let the employee work more than 40 hours in a week, or to require they get advance permission (including in writing) for any overtime; you also have the right to set the exact hours an employee works and not let them "sign in and out at their convenience."

2) You only have to pay for the hours actually worked; if the employee is falsying hours, you don't need  to pay them for it--though you should carefully document actual hours worked, in the event of a later dispute.

3) If there is an employee whose work habits you don't like, you can fire them so long as there is no employment contract to the contrary; yoou are not discriminating against a race, sex, religion, the disabled, or those over 40; and you are not retaliating for the employee having made a protected claim (including having raised a claim that you are not paying overtime; though if you have paid all overtime to date and can show that, that should not be a problem).

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