Can an employee deduct 15 minutes of pay for being 5 minutes late?

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Can an employee deduct 15 minutes of pay for being 5 minutes late?

My employer has taken off 15 minutes of pay for being late 5 minutes in 1 pay period. I checked my employee handbook and it does not state anything about this new policy and if the employee handbook was updated, then I wasn’t informed of this change.

Asked on May 13, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Since you are paid hourly, then this action violates labor law and you have a valid claim, you can file a wage complaint with your state's department of labor. The fact is that an employee must be compensated for all time worked. So if you missed 5 minutes then that is what can be deducted from your pay but no more than that.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is not legal, and you could file a wage-and-hour complaint with the state department of labor. The law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act) is quite clear that an hourly employee must be paid for ALL time worked and accurate, truthful time records kept. If you missed 5 minutes, they don't have to pay you for those 5 minutes--but cannot take an extra 10.


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