Are employers allowed to deduct pay/time as a punishment

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Are employers allowed to deduct pay/time as a punishment

Employer threatened to dock
30minutes out of employees pay if the
employee is caught on their phone.
They also stated they would not tell the
employees if they were docked or not

Asked on May 29, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The law provides that an employee must be compensated for all time worked, no exceptions. If a paycheck has an amount deducted from it due to a disciplinary measure, then a worker can file a wage complaint with their state's department of labor. That having been said, absent a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary, you can be otherwise disciplined up to and including termination for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, the employer may not. The labor and wage laws, like the Fair Labor Standards Act, are very clear that accurate records must be kept of all time worked and that employees must be paid for all time worked, with no deductions. If they deduct time or pay, you can file a complaint with the department of labor. 
There are many things they can do for being on the phone: demote you; suspend you; even terminate you. But they can't deduct time or pay.


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