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Old 08-07-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
DisnyMama
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Can My Boss Legally Not Pay Me For Hours Worked?

My employer has made it mandatory that we arrive and are clocked in "5 Minutes" before our start time. I work from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Mon-Fri and clock in at 12:55 PM everyday. This is company policy. Most days I clock out at about 6:04 PM . When they print out the timecards at the end of the pay period it always reads "5:00 hours" so per day they are not paying me for 9 Minutes on the clock. Over this past pay period it totaled 75 minutes unpaid time on the clock. Is this legal? Shouldn't we be paid for all time worked?
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:55 AM   #2
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I worked at one place that paid for every ten minutes, one paid every six minutes, one every minute. With that said we were paid cumulative for the week not per shift. To answer if its legal or not I don't know, seems to be common practice though.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:49 AM   #3
DisnyMama
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What really is nagging at me is that On my timecard for the last payperiod (2 weeks) for example, I had 75 min in "clocked" time that I will not get paid for. That is over an hours pay! Plus, the real kicker is that about a month aago I was written up for not clocking in 5 minutes before start time. I was never late, just not following company policy. I was clocking it at like 12:57, 12:58 but never after 1:00 PM. Seems to me if they make it mandatory I be there on the clock, even if it"s only 5 minutes then I should be paid for it as it ads up. I'm sure they know it ads up too which is why they're not paying it. Over a year and with all the staff they save at least a few thousand dollars a year.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:54 AM   #4
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Sorry folks..please forgive my spelling mistakes as I am not wearing my glasses so I tend to make a lot of errors.... LOL

Thanks for understanding and also your input,

Shannon
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:46 AM   #5
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Call you state's labor dept. They'll let you know if it's legal or not.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:56 AM   #6
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I read recently where Apple employees are filing a class-action laswsuit against their employer for a situation very similar to yours. I'm sure it varies by state, but it may be worth looking into.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisnyMama View Post
My employer has made it mandatory that we arrive and are clocked in "5 Minutes" before our start time. I work from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Mon-Fri and clock in at 12:55 PM everyday. This is company policy. Most days I clock out at about 6:04 PM . When they print out the timecards at the end of the pay period it always reads "5:00 hours" so per day they are not paying me for 9 Minutes on the clock. Over this past pay period it totaled 75 minutes unpaid time on the clock. Is this legal? Shouldn't we be paid for all time worked?
That doesn't sound like it should be legal but call dept. of labor and find out! My job is 8:01-4:01- we can punch in anytime up until 8:07 before we are docked or considered late and we punch out at 3:51 without being docked.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DisnyMama View Post
My employer has made it mandatory that we arrive and are clocked in "5 Minutes" before our start time. I work from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Mon-Fri and clock in at 12:55 PM everyday. This is company policy. Most days I clock out at about 6:04 PM . When they print out the timecards at the end of the pay period it always reads "5:00 hours" so per day they are not paying me for 9 Minutes on the clock. Over this past pay period it totaled 75 minutes unpaid time on the clock. Is this legal? Shouldn't we be paid for all time worked?
Where I work, we are paid in 15 minute increments, and if we are clocked in for " most" of a 15 minute period, we get paid for the 15 minutes. So we must punch in no earlier than 12:53 and we must punch out no later than 6:07. If I punch in at 12:53 and out at 6:07, I get paid for exactly 6 hours because I didn't work enough of either of those 15 minute periods to have worked "most" of it, even though they add up to 14 minutes. Oh, and if I did happen to punch in or out an extra minute too early or too late, I would get paid for it, but I would have to explain what happened, and if there wasn't a GOOD reason for me to have worked over, I would be subject to our progressive discipline (I'd get a warning if it happened more than once in 30 days, etc). We are unionized, so I am certain that this IS legal.

I think your boss probably gets tired of employees who (and I'm not saying you do this, but I have seen it in laces I've worked), waltz in at 12:59 and punch in then decide they need to take their coat off, put their stuff away, and get settled and then get ready for work. Your boss is probably just trying to emphasize to people that they need to be at work and ready to work right at the time they are scheduled.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by scrapquitler View Post
I think your boss probably gets tired of employees who (and I'm not saying you do this, but I have seen it in laces I've worked), waltz in at 12:59 and punch in then decide they need to take their coat off, put their stuff away, and get settled and then get ready for work. Your boss is probably just trying to emphasize to people that they need to be at work and ready to work right at the time they are scheduled.
I bet you're right. I see that where I work all the time. People who are hourly employees don't punch in but they get here at exactly 8:30 then spend 15 minutes in the lunch room making coffee and breakfast. I don't punch in but if I did I would not be concerned about 5 minutes. There are probably 5 minutes at some other point during the day that you're not actually working.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:00 AM   #10
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I bet you're right. I see that where I work all the time. People who are hourly employees don't punch in but they get here at exactly 8:30 then spend 15 minutes in the lunch room making coffee and breakfast. I don't punch in but if I did I would not be concerned about 5 minutes. There are probably 5 minutes at some other point during the day that you're not actually working.
I was thinking this also. If your start time is 1:00PM, you should be at your desk (or whatever you do) WORKING at 1:00PM. So many people believe that the start time is the time you set foot through the front door of your place of employment.

I start at 6AM, but I actually get to my desk at about 5:50AM and fire up the computer, hang up my sweater, put my dress shoes on, etc. We don't have punch in time; however, should I be charging my employer because I am standing in my cube at 5:50AM? Nope.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by scrapquitler View Post
Where I work, we are paid in 15 minute increments, and if we are clocked in for " most" of a 15 minute period, we get paid for the 15 minutes. So we must punch in no earlier than 12:53 and we must punch out no later than 6:07. If I punch in at 12:53 and out at 6:07, I get paid for exactly 6 hours because I didn't work enough of either of those 15 minute periods to have worked "most" of it, even though they add up to 14 minutes. Oh, and if I did happen to punch in or out an extra minute too early or too late, I would get paid for it, but I would have to explain what happened, and if there wasn't a GOOD reason for me to have worked over, I would be subject to our progressive discipline (I'd get a warning if it happened more than once in 30 days, etc). We are unionized, so I am certain that this IS legal.

I think your boss probably gets tired of employees who (and I'm not saying you do this, but I have seen it in laces I've worked), waltz in at 12:59 and punch in then decide they need to take their coat off, put their stuff away, and get settled and then get ready for work. Your boss is probably just trying to emphasize to people that they need to be at work and ready to work right at the time they are scheduled.
This is how we are set up... time punches get rounded to the nearest quarter hour. So if I clock in at 9:23, and clock out at 6:07, that would be rounded to 9:30 and 6:00.

However, I also make it work out for me. If I need a longer lunch, I can clock out at 1:08 (for example) and back in at 1:52. That's a 44 minute lunch, but I'm only docked 30 minutes.

Our company (with the exception of one job) isn't exactly time dependent and the company figures the rounding "evens out" in the end.

It does seem what your company is doing is legal...
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Some employers track employee hours worked in 15 minute increments, and the FLSA allows an employer to round employee time to the nearest quarter hour. However, an employer may violate the FLSA minimum wage and overtime pay requirements if the employer always rounds down. Employee time from 1 to 7 minutes may be rounded down, and thus not counted as hours worked, but employee time from 8 to 14 minutes must be rounded up and counted as a quarter hour of work time. See Regulations 29 CFR 785.48(b).
Source: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs53.htm
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:10 AM   #12
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There is a Lawyer commercial on the radio here in Florida for this very subject.

I can tell you it is NOT legal here in Florida for them to not pay you, if it is mandatory that you clock in 5 minutes prior to your shift then you must be paid for that 5 minutes OR your shift on the backend must be adjusted for 5 minute early departure.

I would definitely call your states dept. of labor

I see the repsonses about people coming in early to "get ready" to work, but in all actuality that is not required. If your shift starts at 8am then your shift starts at 8am! At 8am, if it takes you 10 minutes to boot up your computer and get your programs running for the day then that is a company problem and not yours.

My company policy is ... your "shift" is 745-445, we require you to be here at 745am to boot up and be ready, but your Job duties don't start until 8am. They get out of paying you the 15 minutes because they give it back to you by allowing you to leave at 445 rather than 5.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:25 AM   #13
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Would sound like normal rounding to me if not for the mandatory 5 minutes extra on each end. If its mandatory that you are clocked in from 12:55 to 6:05, then that is your official "working hours".

I understand what he's trying to accomplish here, but he's flirting with a dangerous line.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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Well, I am in California. A middle manager at my wife's company tried to require people to be "in place, logged in, ready to work at the start of their shift". Problem was, their computers took 15 minutes to boot everything up.

California labor commission told the company that they can not require someone to be at work before they are being paid. It's not the employees problem that they can't work immediately because of the equipment the employer chooses to use.

But this is for hourly employees only. Salaried, (called exempt in California) they legally can work you 24/7/365 without additional compensation.

So, your employer's requirement is illegal in California.

Now, my last employer actually had a policy that FORBID employees from being in the building more than 10 minutes before or after their scheduled shift. Never figured that one out.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:30 AM   #15
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now, my last employer actually had a policy that forbid employees from being in the building more than 10 minutes before or after their scheduled shift. Never figured that one out.
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