Can an employer let you clock in and out and not pay you?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer let you clock in and out and not pay you?

My scheduled clock in bid time is 7 am.Then changed to 6:50 am then changed to 6:40 am and then they wanted to change it to 6:15 am I then let my boss know that I was not available at 6:15. The next day I came in at 6:40 am witch is the earliest time that I agreed that I was available the supervisor allowed me to clock in and I then asked for my route was told that they didn’t have a route for me to do because I couldn’t come in at 6:15 am at the new clock in time for my route and they sent my route out and did not offer me any other route to do that day I was allowed to stay on the clock until it was time for my scheduled clock out time. When I received my check I was not paid for that day can they do that and why,its not my fault they didn’t have no work for me or didn’t make any adjustments for me to be able to still come in and do the job I was hired to do

Asked on October 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If they had you (or allowed you to) clock in and stay at work, they had to pay you for all the time you were there; the law requires that hourly employees be paid for all time at work, whether or not they are being productive. If they don't, you could try filing a complaint with the state department of labor and/or suing in small claims court for the money.
2) For future reference, bear in mind that the employer can set the schedule and you MUST meet it--the law doea not let you come in late if the schedule doesn't work for you. If you come in late, your employer could refuse to let you clock in or send you home early; could suspend you; or could terminate you for cause (no unemployment).

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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