Is an employer allowed to manually change your hours worked without your verbal agreement?

Currently, I’m working for a small size retail company family owned. I am an hourly employee; when I took the job I agreed to work 47.5 hourly in 5 day work week from 7 am to 5 pm with a half hour lunch. I started working a few months ago and noticed the owner is manually updating payroll to not go over the 47.5 hours in a week even when I go over those hours. Sometimes when it is busy I will go past 5 pm by 10-15 minutes and all inside sales employees have to stay until the cash register has been checked most times past 5 pm.

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, an employer may not legally do this. Employers must keep acurate timesheet records; must pay hourly employees for all time worked; and must pay hourly staff overtime for all hours worked past 40 hours in a week. Failure to do this may give rise toa  wage-and-hour complaint; if you're not being paid for all time and not being paid time-and-a-half for 7.5 or more hours (if you're working 47.5 hours/week) each week, you may have a claim for a considerable amount of money, depending on how long this has been going on for. Say, for example, that you have worked there 20 weeks so far; say your hourly base wage is $12.00 per hour; when you work overtime, you should get another $6.00 per hour ($18.00/hour total, for overtime)--that's another $45 for each 47.5 hour week. After 20 weeks, that would be $950, and more if you're also being shorted time. Speak to the department of labor if you want to pursue a claim.


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