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  • Time Clock Location Texas

    I work in a large detention center facility for contract medical. Our department is located in the back of the facility, meaning we have to go through several locked doors that are operated by security. If there is detainee traffic we are held up in the waiting area before they open the door for us to continue on to our department where our time clock is located. A lot of times we can be held up anywhere from 5-10 minutes which can make us late. We have brought this up to our supervisor (who is officed out of state at headquarters) and all we get in response is "get to work earlier, I pay you for 8 hours of work, your work area is in the back not in the front". We have asked to have the timeclock moved to the front lobby of the facility. The security staff timeclock is located up in front lobby and they also work "in the back", but they are employed through a different entity. Our employee handbook only states that 5 unexcused absences/tardies (defined as 10 min. or more) within a 90 day period may be subject to scrutiny.
    Is there anything that can be done to perhaps get this changed? Or any suggestions?

  • #2
    You have two legally unrelated issues here.
    - If your employer tells you to do something, you do it (or risk the consequences). Unless the action they are telling you to do is illegal. This action is NOT illegal.
    - The other issue is whether or not they have to pay you for those extra 5-10 minutes. This is a poorly written law and court cases are all over the place on this point. So I can give you a definate "maybe". File a wage claim. It works or it does not work.

    But be very clear. It is perfectly legal for the employer to consider you to be "late" for failing to show when/where you were told and to fire you for this. The only issue is whether or not the court-du-jour will consider the time you spend trying to get to your work station to be paid time.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      To file a claim for the unpaid time...

      Apparently you have suggested to the employer an alternative, and have gotten a callous answer; probably because the employer does not care about your inconvenience for 5-10 minutes per day. That's unfortunate.

      You can claim as time worked the time you spend under the employer's direction and control, which apparently exceeds the time between clock in and clock out. You'll want to make sure you know how much time that is on a daily basis, and furnish that information with your claim. Texas Workforce Commission will make a determination of how much (if any) additional time you are entitled to compensation.

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/lablaw.html links you to the TWC page outlining the process, and also provides links to the forms needed.

      My understanding is that the claim process which was really overloaded and jammed up just a few months ago is relatively quick now, so the employer may get an opportunity to terminate you for an unrelated reason pretty soon. You get to decide if this is a hill on which you want to die. (Thanks to Patty for the reference!)

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