Can an employer take a significant portion of your salary away for being late?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer take a significant portion of your salary away for being late?

Owner is taking 200 away from all Salary employees and adding it as a bonus instead of our weekly pay. We will lose the bonus if we are 1 minute late any day of the week. This does not seem fair and quite extreme for being late when we work a mandatory 50-60 hours a week.

Asked on July 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First, forget about whether it is "fair" or "extreme"--that is irrelevant, and in this context, the law does not care about "fairness." Unless you have a written employment contract to the contrary, you are an employee at will: the employer controls all aspects of the jobs of employees at will, including compensation. While an employer may not take away money already earned, going forward, they can reduce your salary and make part of the compensation that was formerly you salary a bonus, subject to criteria like being on time. This is unusual, but legal.

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