Docked day's pay for time clock error

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Latest post 04-12-2012 11:08 AM by NJWorker. 2 replies.
  • 04-12-2012 8:54 AM

    • NJWorker
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    • Joined on 04-12-2012
    • NJ
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    Docked day's pay for time clock error

    I work part-time hourly as a front office worker in a small family-owned factory, 4 hours a day, 4 days a week. I've been in this job for a month. They employ about 2 dozen people, half of them full-time and half of them part-time.

    On one work day two weeks ago, I apparently forgot to clock out after my 4-hour shift, and my employer did not pay me for that day. (I found this out from a manager who reminded me that I need to check my time cards and make sure they are accurate because I didn't get paid for the day I didn't clock out.)

    I met with my supervisor (who is also HR director, the payroll department, and a co-owner of the company) and she said that it is my responsibility to make sure my time card is accurate, and that the card is always still in the slot the following Monday so that it can be checked for accuracy. (Now she tells me!) She told me "this time" she would add those four hours to this week's time card, but I have to take a day off so that this week's paycheck will not be larger than usual. (It doesn't matter that my check two week's ago was 4 hours smaller than usual).

    She told me that she had no way of knowing if I was actually there during that time, even though the place is filled with surveillance cameras (to prevent employee theft) and I share an office space with two people who were there during the same hours and can vouch that I did not leave early any day that week. This supervisor and the other co-owner also see me and converse with me throughout my shift every day, and would certainly have noted any significant absence. There are also computer files and time-stamped emails that can verify my presence at various times throughout the day. When she was doing payroll, she did not call me into her office (or call my home or cell number if I was done for the day) to discuss the issue.

    My questions:

    1) Is it legal for the company to dock me an entire day's wages for forgetting to clock out?

    2) I am in my last tier of unemployment, getting a part-time supplement. (my current wages are significantly less than the unemploment check I've received in the past year). When I filed for that week, I entered the amount of hours I worked and wages earned, not knowing that I actually earned 4 hours wage less, so I did not get my maximum unemployment supplement. For this week, I will have to add the four extra hours that she is putting on my time card, so I will get less supplement. If my report to NJ unemployment does not match my employer's payroll, then I'm in trouble with the law. Is there any way to recover the four hour's worth of unemployment supplement? (That's a week's worth of gas!)

    Thank you!

    p.s. the manager who told me about this got chewed out for telling me

  • 04-12-2012 10:01 AM In reply to

    • LG81
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 01-03-2010
    • Posts 4,338

    Re: Docked day's pay for time clock error

    NJWorker:

    1) Is it legal for the company to dock me an entire day's wages for forgetting to clock out?

    Your employer is required by law to pay you for all time worked.  The employer is remediating this by paying you now.  Yes, it would have been smarter for the co-owner to ask you about that day if she noticed you clocked in but never clocked out, but maybe she didn't have time to track you down and ask when she was preparing payroll for that week.  However, that doesn't matter.  You are getting paid for the time worked.

    NJWorker:
    She told me "this time" she would add those four hours to this week's time card, but I have to take a day off so that this week's paycheck will not be larger than usual. (It doesn't matter that my check two week's ago was 4 hours smaller than usual).

    Her logic sounds silly to me, but it is perfectly legal to make you take a day off this week.  As long as you are paid for actual time worked, it is legal.

    NJWorker:
    Is there any way to recover the four hour's worth of unemployment supplement?

    You can contact the unemployment office and let them know that you over-reported your earnings for that earlier week and ask them if it's possible to obtain compensation.  It may or may not be possible, but you won't know until you ask.

    NJWorker:

    p.s. the manager who told me about this got chewed out for telling me

    That's silly but not illegal.  I am curious, however, why you didn't notice that you weren't paid.  Why did a manager have to tell you? 

  • 04-12-2012 11:08 AM In reply to

    • NJWorker
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 04-12-2012
    • NJ
    • Posts 2

    Re: Docked day's pay for time clock error

    Thank you for your reply.

    I didn't notice the shortfall because I have direct deposit, and didn't have the receipt from the company until after the manager mentioned it to me. (I don't regularly look at bank statements)

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