No announcement yet.

One hour pay deduction if don't clock out for lunch

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • One hour pay deduction if don't clock out for lunch


    Today I recieved an email from my HR managaer that said if we do not clock out of lunch, we will be penalized and one hour pay will be deducted from our paycheck. Our lunch we clock out for is only a half hour. How can they do this by law? Here is the email.

    Please remember that all hourly employees are responsible for clocking out and back in at lunch time. This is really important, and causes substantial administrative delay when having to verify and requiring supervisor approval. Please clock out and in at your lunch time every day. Please notify your supervisor if you are having problems clocking out and in.

    Also, state law requires employees working six (6) or more hours per day to take at least a half hour lunch. After coordinating your daily lunch times with your supervisor, please adhere to a daily lunch schedule.

    Starting Monday, December 19, 2005, we will assess a penalty for not clocking out and/or in for lunch. An employee failing to clock out and/or in for their lunchtime will automatically have one (1) hour of pay deducted from their paycheck for that lunchtime.


  • #2
    No, they can't. You must be paid for all hours you work. Period. I'm sure the state Dept. of Labor would be glad to take your claim the first time this docking occurs. They can discipline you in other ways, however, just not by withholding pay for hours you have actually worked.

    To keep this from happening, though, just take the lunch. Then at least it won't happen to you.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      They can't. It is illegal for an employer to impose a financial penalty.

      It's not against the law to threaten to do something illegal - it's only against the law to do it. The first time someone is deducted an hour of work time because they forgot to punch out for lunch, they should contact your State's Department of Labor and file a complaint.


      • #4
        I'm the kind that would not clock out for lunch tomorrow

        You know, they were okay right up until the word "penalize."

        Payroll systems that I have used can be set up to automatically deduct a certain amount of time for lunch, and that is not illegal at all, provided the employee is actually getting the lunch.

        When I was a Payroll/Accounting assistant at a hotel, we had a SIGNIFICANT problem of our housekeepers not getting to take lunch when we were extremely busy, and not taking a lunch when their hours had to be cut due to low occupancy. Our GM set up a policy that the payroll system would automatically deduct thirty minutes for lunch. For every shift that there was no punches made for lunch, there was a mandatory write-up for someone, either the Executive Housekeeper for not giving them, or the employee for not taking them. The particular system we were using would auto deduct 30 minutes unless there were two mid-shift punches, indicating a lunch break. If the employee did not get a lunch, it was incumbent upon them to get with HR and let us know. Their Executive Housekeeper would then have the duty to explain to the GM as to how it was her employees were not being provided with the company-required breaks. If an employee did not clock out for a break when hours were being cut, they had to explain to the supervisor why they failed to take a break when working conditions permitted. We in HR were not allowed to make any changes to payroll without accompanying documentation, usually in the form of a write-up. It took less than one pay period for people to get it right, and for the Executive Housekeeper to give and enforce breaks. The good thing about this situation was that EVERY lock in the hotel was electronic key access, recorded in 6 second intervals, so we could tell when someone was legitimately working and legitimately loafing. By the way, we had someone make a false complaint to HR, saying that she did not have the opportunity to take a break (she didn't want to take receive her fourth, and final write-up). The Executive Housekeeper was able to prove through occupancy, schedules, and her key card access that it was possible for her to have taken a break, and probable that she did have one.