Is it legal for a company to take hours of pay for being 1 0r 2 minutes late to work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for a company to take hours of pay for being 1 0r 2 minutes late to work?

I work for a warehouse in the argriculture business. New Link Destination
day they held a meeting informing us that if we clock in one minute late they will take 2 hours of pay from us and if we clock in 2 minutes late they will take 4 hours of pay from us. I am always at work on time but I do have 2 small children things could come up. If I happen to show up 2 minutes late they will take a half a day’s work pay from me. Is this legal? They wanted us to sign a paper agreeing with this amount other changes I also question. Which I and half of the employees did not sign. My state’s minimum wage just went up from $9.72 to $11 and hour. I believe they are doing this amount other things to compensate for the company’s loss of money generated due to having to pay employees a higher wage.

Asked on January 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, they can't do this, and if they do, contact the state department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint. Employers must pay hourly employees for *all* time worked--period; otherwise, they are violating the wage and hour laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act.
There are many legal things they can do if employees are late: reduce hours, suspend, even terminated. But they can't short on you pay for the hours actually worked.

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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