Can my employer not pay me for hoursthatI actually worked becauseI lied about whenI clocked in?

UPDATED: Aug 13, 2010

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Can my employer not pay me for hoursthatI actually worked becauseI lied about whenI clocked in?

I didn’t clock into work one day because I was running late to open the store. We are supposed to clock in at 9:30 am. I arrived at around 9:45-50 am. I rushed to count all registers and go to the bank before 10 am. Later that day the owner comes and asks why I didn’t clock in. I said that I forgot because I was rushing around. He asked when did get I get there and I told him that it was around 9:30. He said well what was it 9:30 or 9:31 because if it was 9:31 I was late. So I said that I guess it was 9:30. So he wrote it down on my time card and initialed it. My last day was a few days later. It has been 2 weeks since then and i was supposed to receive my paycheck today. I didn’t so I called and he said I won’t receive it until I fax to him the story on why I didn’t clock in that day. Can he do that? Can he not pay me for all those hours I worked?

Asked on August 13, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

No, he can not withhold your last paycheck.  But what he wants to do is to verify your hours worked and your story for his own reasons.  In some states it matters if you were fired or quit.  In Illinois it does not seem to matter.  You need to be paid no later than the next scheduled payday.  I can not advise you to lie.  That would be unethical as well.  But I would suggest that you write him a general letter regarding the matter indicating that you do not know the exact time that you arrived (you state in your question it was "around" 9:45-50), and that you advised him you were rushing around to get the place open and everything in place before hand so you did not clock in.  That you can verify the time you were at the bank (a deposit slip or withdrawal slip) and that if he wants to use an "exact time" he can gladly use that one clocked in by the bank (you will be forfeiting the half hour of pay; can you live with that?).  Finally indicate that pursuant to Illinois statute (820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 115/5) you were to be paid on the next scheduled payday and that he is in non-compliance under the law.  Ask for the check to be mailed immediately.  You have turned the tables told the truth and provided the story he wishes and placed yourself above board. Good luck.

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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