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California Time Clock reporting

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  • California Time Clock reporting

    I manage several full time hourly employees who work very hard and are almost never late or absent. Frequently we are extremely busy and once in a while one of my employees may forget to clock in or out at the correct time for lunch. I am always aware if they are late returning from lunch and I have signed off the corrected time card indicating that the employee was not late but the department head insists on docking my workers 2 hours each time they forget to punch the time clock. I don't think this is legal but he doesn't care. He claims it is a lesson to teach them to be more diligent about punching the time clock. They make little enough as it is and it pains me to have to short the already meager paychecks they receive for such a frivolous reason. What can I do?

  • #2
    It is not legal and the company is going to be in serious trouble if any of the employees files a claim for unpaid wages. You are free to discipline the workers in any other way you find appropriate for forgetting to clock in or out, but not by docking them.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      I'm confused. You're changing the time card to show that they were NOT late, when they were? That's falsifying company documents, just as much as if you were changing it to show that they were late when they were not. What is the company's rounding policy regarding clock in/out times?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        No. For example, if an employee forgets to clock in from lunch, I will enter the actual time returned from lunch and initial that I can verify the time. This is to certify that the employee simply neglected to punch in but was not actually late from lunch.
        I have had employees who actually panic when they realize they forgot to punch in or out because they can't afford to be docked two hours. The general manager, who instituted this docking practice, has convinced my employees that this is legal and there is nothing they can do. Is there someplace I can go and get the text of the law that will prove to him that he is wrong and convince him to stop docking this way?
        I would like to be able to help my guys. They work really hard and get no recognition for it. I want them to know that I have their backs.


        • #5
          Ah, NOW I understand. You are doing exactly what is required, at least as far as being paid is concerned. You cannot discipline employees for a company policy violation by not paying them for the hours they have worked.

          Tell your General Manager that whenever an employee files an unpaid wage claim, that will very likely cause the state DOL to trigger a complete audit. And the company WILL be held in violation of the FLSA or state-equivalent.

          How can I say this any more strongly...........Work = Pay.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.