Is it legal for your employer to dock your hours if you forget to clock in?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for your employer to dock your hours if you forget to clock in?

The policy below.Hello Everyone,

Employees that have been here for
awhile know of the time clock policy
and this will just be a reminder for
you…but we have several employees
that repeatedly forget to clock in/out
so I’m having to share this information
with them.

For the newer employees starting Monday
8/24/15 if you forget to clock in/out
includes lunch, I will need to get
this information from a source other
than yourself and ten minutes will be
added to that time. If we have
employees that continue to forget to
use the clock I may be forced to amend
this with more time added.

Please let me know you received this
email and that you understand this

I have not replied to this email as of
yet, I feel this is unlawful.

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


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your employer can never take away money that has been earned. The money is yours once you work the time. However, your employer can certainly change its policy and in the future suspend you without pay or otherwise discipline for not clocking in; this includes termination. This is true unless such a disciplinary action violates any applicable union agreement or employment contract or even company policy. Also, no form of legally action discrimination must be the reason for your treatment.

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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