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

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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. Today 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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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