docking pay for late clock in

Dear MEL,

I have two questions. I am employed by a small company (employing approximately 30 people) and they have recently enacted a new late policy. The policy is as follows; If an employee is one minute late they will be docked 15 minutes of pay. For each additional 5 minutes after the first minute late the employee will be docked an additional 15 minutes pay. I would like to know if there is any law governing docking pay for late clock in. Is there a limit to how much pay an employer can dock an employee for clocking in late? I understand that it is not to the employers benefit to dock pay for salaried employees, I am enquiring about this rule for hourly employees.
My second question is in reference to hourly employees working off the clock. What regulations are there on this issue. Recently my coworker clocked out then stayed to help clean. I am curious if this is legal. Is this considered volunteer work? What liability may this cause to my employer if the employee should be injured during this "volunteer" work?

Thank You

1 answer  |  asked Feb 24, 2009 4:15 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Docking pay

An employer may violate your rights by docking your pay if the total pay for the week divided by the total hours worked that week is less than the minimum wage, which is now $7.30 in Ohio. In addition, if the employer is making deductions from your paycheck without your written authorization, it might be violating Ohio's prompt payment law. Search other Answers on this site for Ohio Revised Code section 4113.15.

Time worked before clocking in and after clocking out is still time worked. It is counted for purposes of minimum wage and overtime calculations. Therefore, make a careful record of how much you actually work.

Better yet, you should not work before you clock in or after you clock out. If your employer tries to force you to do so, consider contacting an attorney. Do not, however, refuse to perform the work. Rather, make a record of the time that you actually worked and note your objection to your employer.

Best regards,


posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Feb 24, 2009 5:04 PM [EST]

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