Is it legal if we won’t get paid if we do not sign out?

We sign in and out on a sheet as there is no time clock. A warning has been written on a message board and we have been to verbally told that if we forget or do not sign out at the end of the day, we will only be paid until lunch for the day.

Asked on May 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In order to pay an employee, there must be an accurate record of the hours they worked. Reliable documentation for this is created when a worker signs (or clocks) out. Therefore, you need to do so in order for an employer to know what to pay. Until they know for sure, it is legal for them not to pay you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal: while the employer has to pay you for all the work you do, they need records of that: if you fail to clock out, they don't know the time you worked and don't have to pay without good, reliable documentation. You failure to provide them the documentation or information they need to pay you, combined with your notice of a clear policy stating the consequences of not clocking out (so that since you are still working there after receiving notice, you can be held to have agreed to that policy) makes this legal. The remedy, of course, is straightforward: make sure you clock out.

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