Workers ignoring our time clock rules: Can we dock their pay?

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. Many of our 60 employees fail to correctly clock in or out and it’s creating major payroll issues. I’ve met with employees who are chronic time-clock abusers and placed warnings in their files. Can we dock an employee for failing to clock in or out? — G.M., Texas

A. In addition to creating payroll headaches, employees’ failure to use the time clock could create a legal problem under state and federal wage-and-hour laws. While the employees are failing to follow the rule, the responsibility is on your company to make sure you have accurate records of nonexempt employees’ work hours. This is a performance issue that you should address with those employees.

While you have many options for disciplining the offenders—from warnings to suspensions to termination—docking their pay is not one of them. You must pay employees for all hours worked. Punishing employees by docking their pay is the absolutely wrong way to go.

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