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Time Keeping

There is an employee that forgets often to clock in or clock out. She does not notify me until days later sometimes not until the next week. Should I accept her word when so much time has passed?

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees must be paid for each hour worked. It’s the employer’s responsibility to accurately document an employee’s hours worked and pay him/her accordingly. So, yes, you must make the adjustments even though the employee doesn’t notify you in a timely manner.

Further, if the employee forgets to clock in/out and you have no way of verifying the time she claims to have worked, you must take her word and pay her for the time she states she worked. Unless you can prove her proposed times are wrong, you must pay her for the time she claims.

It’s permissible to discipline the employee for failing to punch in/out. Most employees will understand the importance of clocking in/out once they receive a warning or two.

Consider adopting a practice of progressive discipline. Progressive discipline provides a graduated range of responses to employee misconduct. Offenders may receive a verbal warning at first, then a written warning for subsequent violations, then suspension, and ultimately termination.

Most companies consider failure to punch in/out a minor violation of company policy/practice and first time offenders will be verbally warned. Second time offenders may receive written warnings. Depending upon company practice, offenders with three or more violations in a short period of time may be terminated.

Consider meeting with the employee, if you haven’t already, to discuss the issue. Maybe she has a legitimate reason for not clocking in/out. Make sure the employee understands the requirement to clock in/out every shift and that continued missed punches will result in further disciplinary actions including termination. Again, many employees will understand the importance of clocking in/out after a warning or two.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 15th, 2015 at 10:48 pm and is filed under
Compensation, Labor Laws.
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