Can I penalize employees for having to re-issue paychecks because they do not record their time properly?

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Can I penalize employees for having to re-issue paychecks because they do not record their time properly?

They lose or don’t turn in time-cards and won’t keep their own records, none of the failsafes I have tried to institute are working; my employer is tired of the wasted time and money. Our company is a landscaping corporation; we work time and material jobs to customers and bill the hours of our workers to them.

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Montana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer is both no and yes.

No, in the sense that you may not dock or debit pay, or withhold payroll, because of the issues you describe--the law requires that employees be paid on time for the work they do, and does not allow deductions from pay without employee consent, except as ordered by a court or otherwise required by law.

Yes, in that unless your employees have contracts, they are employees at will. That means you could, for example, fire any employees who do not  turn in their paperwork; you could also take steps less than firing to punish them, such as suspension, or reducing their pay (only going forward; not retroactively), so long as you still comply with minimum wage laws.


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