Can an employer alter time punches?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer alter time punches?

The CEO of our retail place of employment has directed our store manager to alter time punches for individual employees, to reflect a 30 minute break for employees who did not take a break during their shift. He has also had punches altered to indicate that a full 30 minute break was taken, even if the employee’s punched time indicates otherwise. He has also directed the store manager to alter punches to reflect the scheduled start of employees, rather than accepting the time as entered via time clock by the employee EG An employee punches in at 8:22 a.m. for a scheduled 8:30 a.m shift the punch is altered to indicate 8:30 a.m. This is occurring in the state of Massachusetts

Asked on January 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, this is not legal. Employers are required to keep accurate time records for hourly employees and to pay hourly employees for all time worked. Doing otherwise is a violation of the labor and wage laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). You may wish to contact your state or the federal department of labor to file a complaint.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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