Can an employer change your timeclock records to reduce overtime?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2022 | Wage And Hour Laws |

Whether you are a manager who receives a salary low enough that you are not exempt from overtime regulations or you are an hourly worker, you should receive overtime with pay when you put in more than 40 hours a week.

Unfortunately, there are some employers who do not want to fulfill their overtime pay requirements because of the impact it will have on their operational budgets. Some companies go so far as to institute a policy against overtime pay, requiring that their workers received managerial approval before putting in excess hours.

If a worker does qualify for overtime pay without approval, can the company that employs them change their time clock record to eliminate the excess hours that made them eligible for overtime?

Employers can make changes but only for the sake of accuracy

The reason there are overtime laws in the first place is to ensure that workers receive appropriate pay for the time that they have performed their job. If companies could simply adjust time clock records to eliminate those hours, then overtime pay rules would essentially be meaningless.

There are rules about the adjustment the time clock records. Employers can make changes if they know that a worker left and forgot to clock out or if they made another mistake regarding when they started or ended their shift. However, making changes simply to push the total hours working below the 40-hour threshold is a violation of the employee’s right.

What can you do when your employer changes records to reduce pay?

Keeping your own records is an important first step toward protecting yourself from employer misconduct. That way, you have documentation establishing that when you worked is different from the hours for which they paid you.

You can go to the company to ask for those unpaid wages, but they may continue to deny you your fair overtime pay. In that scenario, you would need to take them to court. You may have other co-workers who were subject to the same misconduct by the company, and all of you could cooperate to bring a claim together.

Learning more about possible overtime violations can help you connect with the wages you should have received in the first place.


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