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  • steeling money Pennsylvania

    I have been working for my employer about 1 1/2 yrs. We punch in and out via time clock. I understand that our system operates on quarter hours, and if you punch the clock on your start time or after you get rounded to the next quarter hour. I recently found out that I was being "docked" for 15 mins even though I was working. Example, I punched in at 7:30 (that is what time we can get into the building, the doors won't unlock until 7:30) and I immediatly started working. The "office manager" has a little notepad that we use to write in missed punches or early leaves etc, I just happened to see the pad and the days that I was working at 7:30 she had adjusted to 7:45 start time. When she was confronted, there was no explanation. I then went to the doctor that I worked for and asked why I was not getting paid for those 15 mins (again I was working) and he said "b/c your start time is not until 7:45. News to me, I was never verbaly told this, not to mention as I was punching in the office manager was punching in at the SAME TIME! No one ever told me anything. The most disgusting part of it is the fact that there have been more than several occasions I may of arrived 15 mins early and started working, and unknown to me I was not getting paid. My employer said that he doesn't go by the time clock, he only uses that for people that are tardy, your start time is designated (example I just found out mine is 8:15) and if you punch in prior to that and you work, you do not get paid. There is nothing in our hand books, or job description that said that there were designated times for each individual. I started working in the operating room and therefore I was told by my peers that were training me to come in at 7:30 b/c that is what time they have always started. They just also found out that they are being ripped. One girl has been working there for almost 4 yrs, and she was coming in at 8am, but she found out today that she was not getting paid until 8:15 EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS WORKING! This is crap! I want to know what I need to do. How can I prove they are adjusting our times, I know that they are sneaky and "above the law" so to speak. This isn't right for people that are honest, hard worker and dedicated. I work hard and this is the thanks I get?

  • #2
    First thing is to determine if you are exempt or non-exempt under FLSA. If you are exempt, there are no circumstances that you'd be entitled to additional pay for overtime worked.

    This link reviews common exemptions: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp.

    Assuming that you are non-exempt, you should be paid for all time physically worked. You mention rounding; but that doesn't sound like what's happening here. It appears that your punchs are being edited to match the work schedule. If you are "working", I agree that the time should be compensable. However if policy says you MAY not start prior to your scheduled start time, you may be disciplined (including termination) for non-compliance.

    If you wish to pursue an unpaid wage claim, you would make your claim with L&I. This web link reviews PA overtime requirements and provides contact information for L&I: http://www.dli.state.pa.us/landi/cwp...Ctr=|901|#4340.

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    • #3
      I am non exempt. I looked through the "handbook" I have and there is NO specific times quoated for my position. All it states is works starts at 8:30 for everyone except for the Techs (I am a tech) coming in to open exam rooms and start patients. This may mean checking the patients in, do not wait for the front staff to arrive and check patient in, you are BEING PAID TO ARRIVE EARLY to start patients. You will NOT be paid for arriving earlier than your start time. Again no Specific start times listed.

      I just realized that I spelled STEALING wrong!
      Last edited by eyetech; 09-28-2006, 06:31 PM.

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      • #4
        No worries about spelling errors. We all make them.

        It's legal to have a policy that states you MAY not start work prior to your "official" start time. It's unfortunate that the work schedule was not communicated clearly to you before now. That being said, you MUST still be paid for all time "physically" worked.

        As an aside, rounding works both ways. It sometimes favors the employer and other times the employee. You mention that your 7:30 punch in is rounded to 8:00. This is not rounding. This in punch editing. An example of rounding would be if you punch in at 7:32 and your time is rounded back to 7:30 OR if you punch in at 7:42 and your time is rounded forward to 7:45. Most companies operate off the 8 minute rule. If an employee works at least 8 minutes of the 15 minute block, the employee gets credit for the full 15 minute block.

        Your recourse, should you wish to pursue it, is to make an unpaid wage claim with L&I. My last post included a link which contained contact information.

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