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