What can I do if my employer has a policy of docking pay for tardiness for hourly employees but doesn’t pay if you work a little late?

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What can I do if my employer has a policy of docking pay for tardiness for hourly employees but doesn’t pay if you work a little late?

The policy is, if you clock in 3 minutes late on the time clock, you are docked for 15 minutes for that day. I am a full-time hourly employee. Also, the time clock is 5 minutes ahead of the actual time, so when the actual time is 8:00 am EST the time clock reads 8:05. I work in customer service and I have been on the phone with a customer at quiting time and punched out 10 minutes after our scheduled quiting time. My time was rounded down 10 minutes and I did not get paid for that time. Doesn’t seem legal to me.

Asked on January 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This is illegal:
1) Employees must paid for all time worked: so if you are three minutes late, they could choose to not pay you for three minutes, but not for fifeteen.
2) Similarly, if you work extra time (10 minutes past quiting time, say), you have to be paid for that time.
3) Employers have to keep accurate time records under the law for their hourly staff. 
You employer is violating the wage and hour laws. Assuming you're talking about more than just a handful of dollars a week in terms of time differential or lost pay (since for a few dollars, it's rarely worth initiating legal action), you may wish to contact the state department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint, which may result in you getting the pay to which you were entitled, for the time you worked but have not been paid.


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