What are my rights to get credit for all of the hours that I worked?

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What are my rights to get credit for all of the hours that I worked?

I currently work for a defense contractor. At the end of the day we clock how much time we spent on each project (.5 an hour on 1 project, 1 hour on another, etc.). One Friday, I forgot to clock how much time was spent on each project at the end of the day. When I returned on Monday, I tried to enter the time for Friday but I was not allowed to. It ends up that the Friday was the end of a pay period and they had already finished payroll. I sent to payroll the list of the 20 projects that I had worked on Friday, however, payroll will not pay me unless I get signatures from 2 people in every project’s hierarchy. It has been over a month and I can’t get all of the signatures. Is this legal? What can I do to get paid?

Asked on January 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal: the law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act) requires employees to be paid for all hours worked--period. The company's internal practices about entering payroll, about running payroll, etc. cannot prevent an employee from getting paid. That's the good news. The bad news is that the only way to force them to pay you, if they don't, is to either look for help from the state department of labor by filing a wage and hour complaint, or else sue the employer for the money, either of which could have obvious consequences for your career, job, how many hours or what projects they put you on in the future, etc. That's not to say you can't or shouldn't take action--but think about it first, and whether it's worth doing.


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