Can my employer fine employees for being late to work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer fine employees for being late to work?

My employer sent a letter in the mail wanting employees to sign and the letter states if the employee is 5 minutes late to work there will be $50 deducted from their pay. If the employee is 15 minutes late that is a $100 fine. Is this legal?

Asked on August 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, such a fine is legal unless prohibited by the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. The fact is that most work is "at will" which means that a company can set the conditons of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). The only caveat here is that if you are a "non-exemt" worker (typically one who is paid hourly), then you must average at least minimum wage for your shift.

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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