Can my employer prevent a punch in?

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Can my employer prevent a punch in?

Recently, my new store manager at my job enacted a rule that employees are no longer allowed to clock in unless they are wearing their work vest. Before this rule was put in place, we could punch in when we got to work and then proceed to our putting our vest on. Now employees are no longer permitted to clock in for work but rather walk to the opposite end of the store, put on a vest, and then clock in on a computer that’s in an entirely different room. My issue with the new rule is that employees are essentially being asked to walk through the store for free and clock in. Another problem with this is the new rule states that we can be late to work even if we are already here working. The alleged reasoning for this rule is that a few bad apples would punch in and not work for awhile rather just loiter around. As far as I am aware there is no official policy in place safeguarding his new rule and if there is we were never made aware of it. The only official rule we were made aware of at hiring was that we could only use the main entrance not the 2 other ones.

Asked on June 21, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Delaware

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, the employer can do what you describe: employers may set--and change or add at will--rules for the workplace, and those rules can include that you are not allowed to punch in or start working unless you are already dressed for work. Since among the rules that law lets employers impose are dress codes, this is legal.


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