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Employer Monitoring Exempt Employee Hours

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  • Employer Monitoring Exempt Employee Hours

    My husband works for a large (1000+) California-based employer of both exempt and non-exempt employees. He has held his exempt, professional position for more than 15 years and has always enjoyed flexibility within his 9-10+ hour workday. In the past two years, the company has begin monitoring the hours of all employees, both exempt and non-exempt, through the use of ID badges. When the employee comes in or leaves the building, the time is recorded on a central computer log. Managers now randomly monitor all employees' hours and it has created a "Big Brother" atmosphere at a formerly collegial workplace. He sometimes takes hour and a half lunches for a yoga or aerobics class and now feels uncomfortable doing this, to the detriment of his physical and mental health. Is it legal for employers in California to monitor exempt employees' hours this way? If not, what agency do I go to to report it?

  • #2
    There is absolutely nothing illegal about monitoring employee attendance, and it doesn't matter if employees are exempt or not. If your husband is putting in 10 hour days, I don't see why taking the occasional longer lunch would be a problem. If he feels that it is, he should speak to his supervisor for clarification.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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    • #3
      This is by no stretch of the imagination illegal. And I agree that it tends to foster an environment of "non-trust" and will turn the exempt employees into clock-watchers. However, the employer has the legal right to monitor the hours of exempt employees as well as nonexempt, and the right to require the exempt employee be in the office during certain hours.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        I have no idea where so many people got the idea that an exempt employee cannot be held to a specific schedule or have his hours monitored in any way, but it is not true. The company is within their rights to monitor the hours of their employees, exempt and non-exempt.

        And if the employees have been taking time out of their day or expanding their lunch break to take yoga and aerobics classes, I'd say it's about time they did so.
        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.

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        • #5
          cbg, I agree
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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