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How Do You Prove Hours Worked If Your Employer Has No Time Clock?

The image is as ubiquitous as the working man or woman’s day itself: punching the time clock at the end of the day and heading out to the freedom and fun you have when you are not on the job. Many companies utilize time clocks to ensure employees’ hours are accurate and that work hours are not fudged here and there. In addition to protecting the employer for paying for time not worked, time clocks also ensure employees have a reliable record of their time in case there is a mistake on a paycheck.

Unfortunately, not all companies use time clocks. What can you do if there is a mistake in the record of your time worked but there is no automated time clock record to back up your claims?

Employers are legally obligated to keep accurate records of time worked by employees. According to the US Department of Labor:

“Every covered employer must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker. The [Fair Labor Standards] Act requires no particular form for the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The law requires this information to be accurate.

The following is a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain:

1. Employee’s full name and social security number.
2. Address, including zip code.
3. Birth date, if younger than 19.
4. Sex and occupation.
5. Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins.
6. Hours worked each day.
7. Total hours worked each workweek.
8. Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (e.g., “$9 per hour,” “$440 a week,” “piecework”)
9. Regular hourly pay rate.
10. Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings.
11. Total overtime earnings for the workweek.
12. All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages.
13. Total wages paid each pay period.
14. Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.”

What’s Your Next Step If Your Employer Shorts Your Pay?

If your employer does not follow the law and you believe it has affected your pay, you have a right to take legal action. If you are concerned your employer’s claims will be considered more accurate than your own, consider this: chances are if there is an ongoing problem with incorrect pay and your employer does not act to fix it immediately, the company has serious problems with record keeping and it will be impossible for your employer to appear credible in claiming the mistake was yours and not theirs.

Whether your employer has ever made a mistake with record keeping when it comes to hours worked or not, you should always maintain an organized and detail record of your own. Write down the date and time you arrive and leave work each day and store this record outside of your workspace. Keep in mind there might be proof aside from a time clock of the hours you work, such as a coded entry system or security camera footage, so do not try to take advantage of your situation.

If there is anything unusual about your hours worked, make a note of it. For instance, are you asked to come in early or stay late, but encouraged not to punch in until a certain time? The hours you work not only affect your earnings, but also what you are legally entitled to in terms of benefits. If your employer is asking you to keep inaccurate records to avoid paying for certain benefits, you have a right to take action.

If you believe your employer is not paying you for hours worked or he or she is asking you to record hours inaccurately, we can help. Contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


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