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Time Clock Punching

Discuss Labor Laws

Time Clock Punching

Postby Wattson » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:37 am

We are officially classified as "Salaried, Non-Exempt" whic they tell us means we can get overtime. However, if you punch in before 9:00(say 8:50) your time card says 9:00 regardless. However, if you punch in after 9:00 it will give the correct time. Is this legal to clock 9:00 for anyone who arrives before that time.  Also, I've never heard of Salaried Non-Exempt. Please advise. I am employed in Illinois branch office of company whose corporate is in CA.

ANSWER: Marsha - Salaried nonexempt is an odd category that frequently is misunderstood.  Having said that, salaried nonexempt means that you are entitled to the same weekly salary for each week of work up to and including forty hours.  Theoretically, you would receive the same amount in a week when you worked two hours a day as in a week when you worked eight hours a day.  If that is not how you are being paid, you are not really salaried.

Employers are obligated to pay employees for all time worked, which includes time before 9:00 even if that is the official start of the day.  If you have not been told to refrain from working until 9:00 AM, you must be paid for those few minutes.  If this has been going on for a long time, the amount owed may be significant.  If it takes the weekly hours worked to over forty, overtime is required for those extra hours.

Automatic time-keeping has caused problems for many an employer.  For example, some automatically deduct 30 minutes for the lunch period, regardless of whether the employee actually took lunch on a given day.  It is the duty of the employer to confirm whether the deduction is accurate, not of the employee.

Illinois for these purposes uses the federal law.  California law does not apply, as you work in Illinois.  So, in summary - no the employer cannot ignore that time before 9:00 AM; yes, there is a salaried nonexempt but I doubt that is how you are being paid; and salaried nonexempt still entitles you to payment for every hour you work and to overtime to hours worked over forty in a payperiod.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

That was extremely helpful. Thank you for your time. One more question. Likewise, if you arrive after(i.e. 9:05) you would be docked.

Again, many thanks.
Wattson
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:10 am

Time Clock Punching

Postby Jonnie » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:49 am

Marsha - Now that is a tricky question, and depends in part on your company's rules and whether they truly mean you are salaried.  As I said, a salaried employee is entitled to the same salary every week almost without regard to the number of hours they work, up to forty.  I think your company has a misunderstanding about their terms.  If they use "salaried" in an informed manner, you should not be docked for missing a few minutes, because that is not the situation of a salaried individual.  

Let me assume for the moment that they are confused about the meaning of salaried.  Instead, if you were hourly nonexempt, you would be paid for every minute you work, depending on the timekeeping abilities of your payroll system.  There is an exception for "de minimis"(or tiny) amounts of time.  But, if you clocked in at 9:05, took your half-hour lunch, and stayed until 5:35, that would be exactly eight hours of work.  You would be owed for eight times your hourly rate, so docking your salary would be illegal.  However, that does not mean that you may not have violated a company rule about when you are due at the office and your expected working hours.  It could be a disciplinary situation, depending on the personnel policies, your agreement with the company, or whatever else governs your employment there.  Things that are not regulated by employment law often, in the employment situation, are regulated by ordinary contract law.  The terms of your employment are to be found somewhere and you need to be aware of what they are.

From a strategic perspective, you can find yourself receiving the correct amount of money but being disciplined or worse for multiple instances of lateness.  On the other hand, if there are many of you in the same situation, a group of employees challenging an unfair wage and hour practice is safer than an individual doing so.  Despite the anti-retaliation language in the wage and hour laws, that does not stop employers from terminating people who complain.  I try to be clear about this when I provide information because people need to know what they are getting themselves into when they go against their employers.  You being right may not seem so comforting if you are also unemployed, with a lawsuit that will not be resolved for several years at best.  

Something that may help to get this clarified is for you to ask HR what exactly they mean when they say you are salaried nonexempt.  Knowing their definition would provide you(and me if you write a follow-up with the information) with a better sense of why they do what they do.  

Any complaint you may decide to make should be directed to the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division located nearest to your office.  State agencies are slower to act if they act at all.  

I'm sorry this is so complicated.  I hope I have been clear about your options and rights, as well as the possible consequences.  Good luck.
Jonnie
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:42 am

Time Clock Punching

Postby Deorward » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:37 am

We are officially classified as "Salaried, Non-Exempt" whic they tell us means we can get overtime. However, if you punch in before 9:00(say 8:50) your time card says 9:00 regardless. However, if you punch in after 9:00 it will give the correct time. Is this legal to clock 9:00 for anyone who arrives before that time.  Also, I've never heard of Salaried Non-Exempt. Please advise. I am employed in Illinois branch office of company whose corporate is in CA.

ANSWER: Marsha - Salaried nonexempt is an odd category that frequently is misunderstood.  Having said that, salaried nonexempt means that you are entitled to the same weekly salary for each week of work up to and including forty hours.  Theoretically, you would receive the same amount in a week when you worked two hours a day as in a week when you worked eight hours a day.  If that is not how you are being paid, you are not really salaried.

Employers are obligated to pay employees for all time worked, which includes time before 9:00 even if that is the official start of the day.  If you have not been told to refrain from working until 9:00 AM, you must be paid for those few minutes.  If this has been going on for a long time, the amount owed may be significant.  If it takes the weekly hours worked to over forty, overtime is required for those extra hours.

Automatic time-keeping has caused problems for many an employer.  For example, some automatically deduct 30 minutes for the lunch period, regardless of whether the employee actually took lunch on a given day.  It is the duty of the employer to confirm whether the deduction is accurate, not of the employee.

Illinois for these purposes uses the federal law.  California law does not apply, as you work in Illinois.  So, in summary - no the employer cannot ignore that time before 9:00 AM; yes, there is a salaried nonexempt but I doubt that is how you are being paid; and salaried nonexempt still entitles you to payment for every hour you work and to overtime to hours worked over forty in a payperiod.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

That was extremely helpful. Thank you for your time. One more question. Likewise, if you arrive after(i.e. 9:05) you would be docked.

Again, many thanks.
Deorward
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:12 am


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