Employer Cutting Your Time, Or Asking You To Work Off The Clock?

Does your employer “shave” your time – cut it, edit the time record in the computer to lower your hours worked, or require you to work off the clock?

It’s all illegal.  Employers MUST pay you for every hour worked.

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for some employers to lower their labor costs by making employees work, in effect, for free at least part of the time.  Computerized timekeeping systems always allow managers to “edit” time entries.  That means a manager can, after you’ve logged your hours, go in and change it.  You worked 45; you get paid 40.  Or you’re told that you need to do prep work off the clock, either before or after your shift.

Managers are under huge pressure from their own bosses to cut costs, and that usually means cutting the time worked each week by employees.  I see this most often with employers that have very high turnover rates.  I don’t know why. Maybe those employers figure that if you didn’t work there very long, you’re less likely to complain.  Fast-food restaurants are a frequent offender.  I won’t name them here, but you know them.  Hospitality-sector employers – hotels, for example – are another problem.

Employers will also purposely misclassify someone as a “manager” to avoid paying them overtime.  That’s common.  But there are specific rules in place that tell us who has to be paid overtime, and who doesn’t.    There are lots of exceptions, but the basic rules about who gets overtime and who doesn’t are pretty clear.  Salaried workers are NOT always exempt from overtime.

Have you ever experienced a situation where your employer cut your time, or insisted you work off the clock?   Does your employer call you a manager, and decline to pay you overtime, even though your compensation is relatively low, or even though you don’t supervise anyone?

Post your thoughts and comments.  (As always, do not identify yourself or the names of others or your employer.  Use made-up names.)



Categories: Wage & Hour/Overtime

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. I am so happy I found your website. Very informative.
    My best friend’s former employer required her to clock in on a time clock as well as complete a separate time sheet. The written time sheet was the document turned in to HR for payroll. Work hours were from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. If my friend clocked in at 8:01am, her employer required her to write on her time sheet that she arrived at work at 8:15 and her pay was docked 15 minutes. Incidentally, she was not allowed “make up” that 15 minutes during her lunch or after 5:00 pm, even though she was technically only 1 minute late for work. So, if she worked until 5:15 pm or 5:30 on a really busy day, she was required to write her end time as 5:00 pm on her time sheet no matter what time she clocked out. The office where she worked was one department in a county government and one of only two who even used a time clock. However, according to the HR Department, all of the other county offices used the seven minute rule. Is this a violation of the FLSA?

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