Is it legal for an employer to change an employee’s timecard?

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2012

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Is it legal for an employer to change an employee’s timecard?

My husband’s company keeps changing his timecard so that when he punches in early for a shift which they told him he could do when they hired him so that he is only being paid for the exact 40 hours. Is this legal and what is the law that says yes or no?

Asked on February 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal. Under the labor laws, such as the wage and hour laws (for example, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA) and the regulations implementing them, employers must keep accurate records of all time worked by hourly staff; hourly staff must be paid for all hours worked; and if hourly staff works more than 40 hours in a week, they must be paid overtime (time-and-a-half) for all hours past 40.

What your husband's company is doing appears to be illegal. You and he could try filing a complaint with your state department of labor, or speak with an employment-law attorney about whether a lawsuit would be worthwhile. 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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