Can my employer not pay for a day’s work?

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Can my employer not pay for a day’s work?

At my job we have a time sheet that we have to fill out everyday. It is just a piece a
paper with our names on it and every day we fill in what time we come in and what
time we leave. I made a mistake and never filled out my time on a Thursday
because I got it mixed up with the next week that I knew I would not be at work due
to a doctor appointment. I realized I had made a mistake the next week when I got
my pay check and informed my manager. I have emails that I sent to customers
from my work email on my work computer on that Thursday showing I was at work
all day. My employer is now saying they are not paying me for that day even
thought I have proof I was at work. Is that legal?

Asked on May 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal: the law is clear that an employee MUST be paid for all work they do. Your employer does not have the right to not pay you for the day's work. You could potentially try contacting the state department of labor, which may be able to help you; and/or you could sue the employer (such as in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se") for the money.
However, something to bear in mind for the future: while an employer may not refuse to pay you for work done just because you forget to fill out a timesheet, there a number of things they could do legally for failing to do this paperwork. They could demote you, cut your pay, suspend you, change your hours or shift or duties, even terminate you. The only form of discipline they can't legally do for not doing their paperwork is dock your pay.


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