Can a government contract employee be penalized leave in 15 minute increments for tardiness?

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Can a government contract employee be penalized leave in 15 minute increments for tardiness?

My contractor has recently started penalizing late clock-in times in 15 minute increments. So if I’m

scheduled to start work at 07:00 but clock in at 07:01, I get charged .25 PTO hours. I have just recieved a write up that I should not have if they were accurately charging my time. Is this a legal practice?

Asked on February 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal. The labor laws require that employers keep accurate time records for hourly employees, pay them for all time worked, and not dock them for being late (apart from not paying them for the time they were late--i.e. if you are 10 min. late, you are not paid for those 10 minutes). You may wish to contact the U.S. Dept. of Labor if this is costing you significant time/benefits. Note though that there are other, worse, things that your employer could legally do instead if you are late--like suspend, demote, or fire you. (Employees could be legally terminated for even a single lateness, unless the employee had a written employment contract preventing that.)


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