Can my pay be docked for not showing up early?

Basically they don’t want anyone to be late so they want you to be here and

clock in 5 minutes earlier than you are scheduled for. Yet, they don’t pay you for

that extra time and if you don’t clock in early, you’re considered late. If you’re late your pay gets docked by 0.25 per hour for that entire pay period and will decrease by an additional 0.25 every time it happens, every pay period. It doesn’t go back to normal until you aren’t

Asked on September 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that a worker's pay cannot be docked for time that they are at work ready and willing to perform their job. In fact, as a general rule there cannot be any deductions from a paycheck other than those sanctioned by law (i.e. taxes, child support, garnishments, etc.). Further, once an employee is at their place of work, they must be paid regardless of when their shift technically begins if their employer mandates that they perform their job duties.  

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) No, you can't be docked pay--ever. They don't have to pay you when you are not there, of course; and they can terminate you if they think you are coming in late...but the law does NOT let them take away pay for the time you are there.
2) Once you are at work and working, they must start paying you. It doesn't matter when your shift should start--you have to be paid from when you clock in and begin working.
Your company is violating the wage and hour laws (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA); you could contact the department of labor to file a complaint.

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