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required to punch time clock? Minnesota

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  • required to punch time clock? Minnesota

    I am questioning if exempt employees are required to punch a time clock.
    our company was audited by the state and up to that point we just punched
    in when we came in and out when we left. we never punched out for lunch.
    My company is now forced to require us to punch in and out exactly correct.
    if you forget to make a punch you are to be written up. after 3 warnings
    you are to be let go. This was recomended by the audtor. I am just curious
    because after the last 8 years of either not having a time clock( same job different company) and this company that you just punch in in the morning and out in the evening. If you made a mistake before you supervisor just had
    to sign it. now even if the supervisor signs it you get written up. .
    they say three times and your gone because the auditor said they had to.
    (Managers, who are also exempt employees are not required to punch a time clock at all).

    I am curious as to what the law really says - not what they auditor is telling
    the company. any references would be greatly appreciated

  • #2
    There can be many business reasons why an employer wants to track the working time of its exempt employees. If your employer asks you to punch in and out, you have to do it. Nothing illegal here.
    Last edited by BSPCPA; 11-29-2006, 12:56 AM.
    Barry S. Phillips, CPA

    IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.


    • #3
      There is no legal requirement for companies to track the hours worked by exempt employees.

      If an employer makes exempt employees punch in and out, that is by company policy and not law.

      If the company does not require the exempt employees to punch out and back in at lunch, that is by its policy, too and not legally required.

      The auditor may be simply making a recommendation that would protect the company should some exempt employee complain and the DOL holds that the employee was improperly classified. The company would have records to show how much time was actually worked and have to rely on the best guess of the employee.
      Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.


      • #4
        Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely legal to require exempt employees to punch in and out, regardless of whether it is required by law or not.
        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.