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[Legal Advice]Work Related Question

VanillaGiftVanillaGift Registered User new member
Hello all,

I have been working for a company for over 3 years in RI and they give you up to 7:02 to clock in, if you clock in at 7:03 then they remove 15 minutes from your paycheck.
The issue is that if someone is late every single day, the company removes 15 minutes every day. That would be around 3 hours less on the check.

Is it legal to do such thing?

Thank you.

Posts

  • ASimPersonASimPerson And they will tremble again at the sound of our silence.Registered User regular
    I think the only things that can answer your question are your state's Department of Labor and/or a lawyer.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    As an enforcement policy, the U.S. Labor Department says that it will not challenge an employer's practice of rounding starting and stopping times to the nearest 5 minutes or to the nearest tenth or quarter of an hour in calculating an employee's pay. However, DOL cautions that this is acceptable only if the practice averages out so that employees are properly paid for all of the time they actually work. The agency emphasizes that rounding does not excuse arbitrarily failing to record or properly pay for any amount of an employee's fixed, regular, or practically-ascertainable worktime.

    That is to say the system is designed to account for you showing up early sometimes and late other times. You could potentially have a valid complaint.

    However, if you are consistently showing up late to shift consistently over a long period of time, they should and probably will just fire you.

    IANAL

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  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Your state DoL's contact info is here.

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Hello all,

    I have been working for a company for over 3 years in RI and they give you up to 7:02 to clock in, if you clock in at 7:03 then they remove 15 minutes from your paycheck.
    The issue is that if someone is late every single day, the company removes 15 minutes every day. That would be around 3 hours less on the check.

    Is it legal to do such thing?

    Thank you.

    My understanding is that you have to be consistent in your minimum "unit" of time. A lot of places will only keep track of time in 15 or 10 minute increments. So where I work we use 15 minutes units, my pay is unaffected until I clock in at :08 after. The same that if I clock in at :52 I will be paid fifteen minutes of overtime. Now, for disciplinary reasons I am LATE at :01 and if I consistently clock at that time or later they should be paying me but also getting ready to fire my ass.

    So it is likely illegal. It is also very likely that if you are clocking in consistently late you are in a horrible position to do anything about it. You may get your company fined and get a small check for those hours it docked but it will be quickly be followed by a letter detailing the fact that you have been late 225 times in the last year and that you're fired for cause. If your state is super hippy you may get the pleasure of fighting that for up to a year and maybe sorta get hired back with no chance at ever getting promoted again.

    It sucks but I would recommend keeping it under your hat until such time as you've got another job lined up and are leaving anyways. If you want to improve your chances of it going somewhere keep your own records of punch times against pay roll hours.

    Edit: Hmm, I think I didn't make it clear that the :02 thing might be alright if you also get OT pay if you clock out at :02. The big thing is it is handled the same on each side of the shift.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • BlarghyBlarghy Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Generally, rounding systems are legal if they produce a result that, on average, provides a balanced result to the employee. This particular application -sounds- illegal, but your employer may have sort of justification (like paying you for the full 15 minutes if you punch out 3 minutes late). Its unlikely though. If you're on your way out anyway, you could probably make a claim for some small amount of money. If you're not on your way out, and they're tolerating you being late every day, you might want to count your blessings, though.

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