Recently, the time clock rules for hourly employees have changed, and knowing how valuable employees are to the success of your company, you’re going to want to comply.The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) imposes rules in regards to your employees’ wages, … Beyond the law, it is impossible to run a successful business without keeping track of employee working hours. Some use a 5-minute rule; some use 10. Coming in early or late to work must result in payment. In cases of “long punching” where employees punch in before they actually begin working, then the Texas Workforce Commission’s Compliance Officer investigates whether the employee was actually working during this period. Incorrectly reporting time worked. There is no law or regulation which provides that you CANNOT do that, and I've had several employer clients who have done that. Hourly Clock Rules & Grace Periods. time to clock in and clock out. You may use a time clock to record your employees’ time. Stimson worked for the top three property management companies in the commercial industry and focuses her career on property building logistics and tenant relationships. The Labor laws ? 785.47 explains the so-called de minimis rule, stating that "insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the scheduled working hours, which cannot as a practical administrative matter be precisely recorded for payroll purposes, may be disregarded." The National Labor Relations Act and a variety of statutes overseen by the U.S. The unfortunate part is that these employers were my clients because they were being sued in wage and hour cases in which exempt employees claimed they were misclassified as exempt, and the fact that they were required to punch in and out on a time clock … The federal Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Texas Workforce Commission require employers to keep adequate records using any type of record-keeping method they choose as long as their choice properly records total wages and time each employee works during each pay period. Sometimes Texas employers require or encourage workers to do work “off the clock.” This is work that isn’t compensated and isn’t tallied as part of your weekly hours when calculating overtime. The U.S. Department of Labor allows employers to use time sheets, time cards or time … Texas law allows employers to round by a few seconds or minutes if the employer properly accounts for all hours worked as practically possible and rounds up and down. Businesses are required to post federal and state labor law postings in common areas … Texas Free Printable Labor Law Posters 2019. Employers have many responsibilities but perhaps the most important is complying with government rules and regulations. 516 (Part 516, the recordkeeping regulations). Employers in Texas may not deduct from an employee’s paycheck without prior written authorization. Meal breaks are a different situation. If they do, any breaks must be paid if they are 20 minutes or less, but lunch breaks of 30 minutes or more are not required to be paid if employees are permitted to do whatever they like during those breaks. In addition, any fixed or regularly-occurring work time may not be disregarded, no matter how small, as long as it can be readily ascertained. Minimum wage and overtime pay saved the economy (and the world) The Texas Workforce Commission is responsible for administering the state’s labor laws and making sure employers also comply with the United States Department of Labor’s federal labor laws. In Texas, the payday laws require employers to pay their employees at least once monthly. Biometric time and attendance systems use fingerprint, facial, palm or iris scans to record work time. This rule applies only where a few seconds or minutes of work are involved and where the failure to count such time is due to considerations justified by industrial realities. Federal Labor Laws That Govern Lunch Breaks. While the main clock-in and clock-out process typically isn’t confusing for employees, there may be some confusion as to when employees should clock out for breaks -- and what HR can do if they don’t. 3. Texas labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. While there are no time clock laws that mandate that all employees clock in and clock out, employers are required to keep accurate records of all non-exempt employees’ hours worked. Employers must encourage their employees to clock in or punch in to account for all hours worked without allowing them to work “off-the-clock.” Under the Texas “de minimis” rule, employers may round time if the rounding is insubstantial or insignificant. An employer may not arbitrarily fail to pay for any part, however small, of the employee's fixed or regular working time. 29 C.F.R. For employers going by 15-minute increments, there is the "7-minute rule" which states that 7 … The employee clocks in 10 minutes early every day and clocks out 7 minutes late each day. 785.48(a). a. a. Round all clock-in and clock-out times to favor the employee. Federal law also generally does not require breaks or a lunch period. Clocking in early and clocking out late. DOL's Field Operations Handbook covers this subject in Chapter 30, "Records, Minimum Wage, and Payment of Wages" (PDF), pertinent excerpts from which appear below: In recording working time, insubstantial or insignificant periods of time outside the scheduled working hours may be disregarded. The Department of Labor, the agency responsible for administering the FLSA, … For instance, California labor laws require that employers provide employees with a meal period of no less than a 30-minute when they work more than five (5) consecutive hours. Recognizing that many employers commonly use time clocks to record information, the federal laws allow employers to round time using increments of five minutes to over 15 minutes. Keeping track of employee working hours is not an optional chore: The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and numerous other federal and state laws, require employers to keep records of hours worked, wages paid, and other conditions of employment. It notes, however, that the de minimis rule applies only in case of intervals of "a few seconds' or minutes' duration", and the employer would need to be able to explain how disregarding such intervals is "justified by industrial realities." My employer has recently included in our personnel policy that if we miss clocking in or clocking out we will not be paid for that portion of the day. 785.48(a) notes that if employees voluntarily clock in early prior to their scheduled starting time, or clock out after their scheduled ending time, they do not have to be paid for any time they are not actually working (i.e., getting a cup of coffee, reading a newspaper, eating doughnuts, etc.). The employer follows the standard rounding rules. Coming in early or late to not engage in work will not result in payment. If you are entitled to overtime for working off the clock, you should retain an experienced Texas attorney. Again, Texas does not have any labor laws regarding meals and breaks for employees, and contrary to popular belief, federal rules also do not require employers to provide breaks. You also need to ensure that your employees are not working during this extra time. Contact us at (214) 528-6500 or via our online intake form. Is there any documentation to show mw what is the texas law for when I can clock in and clock out for work. Under Texas law, individual penalties cannot be more than the lesser of $1,000 or unpaid wages. Under state law, if employers do not designate their paydays, then the employer’s paydays must be on the first and 15th of every month. Continually failing to clock in and/or out. If you require a contractor to punch in and out from a time clock, does that automatically make them an employee? 29 C.F.R. As to "rounding" practices, 29 C.F.R. If an employee came in early for personal convenience and did not work prior to the scheduled beginning time, a recording of the fact that the employee worked, for example, 8 hours that day is all that is required. When adjusting an employee’s schedule, it is illegal for an … 785.47 and 785.48(b), respectively, while FOH 30a03(a) corresponds to 29 C.F.R. I'm in Kansas. Recording Hours Worked. Understanding Texas Labor Laws Under Texas labor laws, your employer has no obligation to provide you with a break. However, employers should avoid letting employees do that, since major discrepancies between the time clock records and the hours for which pay is given may "raise a doubt as to the accuracy of the records of the hours actually worked. Texas laws do not prohibit the use of time clocks by employers. Since employment laws can frequently change, you should not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. TX Labor Law FAQs. Likewise, employees should not clock in until they are ready and prepared to begin their assigned tasks, and should not clock out unless they are completely finished with their work for the day. It has been found that in some industries, particularly where time clocks are used, there has been the practice of recording the employee's starting and stopping time to the nearest five minutes, or to the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour. Clocking in and out for other employees. So I know that she has no right to make us clock out to work for her. Jill Stimson has worked in various property management positions in Maryland and Delaware. 2. Strategic tip: do not allow employees to clock in or out more than a minute or two early or late. The employee receives overtime compensation after 40 hours in a workweek. Workplace regulations and the associated costs vary considerably from country to country. pay employees for reporting or showing up to work if no work is performed If your employer does provide breaks during your work day, you must be paid during your breaks. The courts have held that such trifles are de minimis. Non-exempt employees must be paid for time worked. The regulations on this are found in subpart D of part 785 of the wage and hour regulations. Subtract one hour for unpaid lunch, equaling 8.50 hours for each day. Texas employers must keep adequate payroll records for each pay period. This will fall under progressive disciplinary action. The CO may suggest to the employer, but not require, that the punch-time be kept as close to the work-time as possible to avoid any question that work was performed during such intervals. Rounded timesheets that favor employers (e.g., a 9:00 clock-in and 4:55 clock-out) would be grounds for a wage and hour grievance — and the DOL doesn’t take timesheet rounding lightly. In this case, the employee’s time card would show an 8:55 clock-in and a 5:00 clock-out. More Blog Posts: It’s time for the $15 minimum wage in Texas. My boss does pay an additional pay on our checks for clocking out … Both the federal wage and hour laws and the state’s Payday laws allow employers to use time clocks or time sheets to record work time. a. You should be able to control whether your nonexempt employees are allowed to clock in early or clock out late. If you are feeling unduly regulated, check out employee protections in Norway or the Netherlands. Under the FLSA time clock labor laws, companies are allowed to round up or down based on how long an employee has worked. Labor Law Compliance Center offers labor law posters in English, Spanish or bilingual. This is considered gross misconduct and can result in both the employee and the person clocking them in or out to be terminated. Other Considerations. The Texas Workforce Commission can assess up to $1,000 in penalties against noncomplying employers. Breaks apply to both 15-30 minute increments set out by the department of labor and 30-60 minute lunch breaks created by the company. For instance, say the employee’s time card for Monday to Friday shows in–7:50 a.m., lunch in–12 p.m., lunch out–1 p.m., and out–5:09 p.m. Note: FOH 30a02(a) and (b) basically correspond to 29 C.F.R. No one is above the law, including your boss. The federal Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Texas Workforce... Time Clock or Time Sheets. U.S. Department of Labor: Recording Hours Worked, Texas Labor Code Frequently Asked Questions, Texas Workforce Commission: Time Clock "Rounding", U.S. Department of Labor: Record-Keeping Requirements Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 785.48(a) notes that if employees voluntarily clock in early prior to their scheduled starting time, or clock out after their scheduled ending time, they do not have to be paid for any time they are not actually working (i.e., getting a cup of coffee, reading a newspaper, eating doughnuts, etc.). Return to TWC Home, PDF files require Adobe Reader for viewing, Chapter 30, "Records, Minimum Wage, and Payment of Wages". Although the federal government doesn’t require any meal or break periods, state governments have their own break laws. Record-keeping laws require employers to record overtime hours and standard work hours of every employee, personal record information and earnings. Because Texas lacks state specific laws on break and lunch periods, it defaults to federal law. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks. Time missed or worked within that interval will not be deducted from or added to the time worked, whereas time missed or worked outside that interval will result in that interval being deducted from or added to the time worked. When fewer or more hours than those fixed by the schedule are worked, the employer must supplement this record by showing the exact number of hours worked on the day and week involved. The U.S. Department of Labor allows employers to use time sheets, time cards or time clocks as long as the employer accurately records the hours employees work each day and when workweeks begin and end. Employers must place payday posters in a conspicuous area in their workplace, notifying employees of the state’s payday laws and the employer’s regular paydays. That way, the system can be said to achieve a balance over time, and the employee is not suffering a detriment by virtue of a system that always rounds off in favor of the company. Many employers do not pay employees according to the exact number of hours and minutes they work, but rather utilize some sort of "rounding" or "roundoff" system whereby a certain interval is set that serves as the minimum block of time that will be recognized as a unit of time worked or not worked. Bottom line, exempt employees clocking in and out is acceptable. We received the personnel manual a few months ago and had to sign that we had received and read the manual. The Texas Payday Law governs employment wage and hour practices. The employee has a total of 9.50 hours for each day. Texas labor and employment law has no general rule requiring breaks or lunches no matter how long you work. An employee in Texas must receive a break or lunch if there is an employment contract specifically stating such requirements. If they want to come early or stay late to relax, they can do that if the company approves, but make it clear that no work will be allowed outside of the normal schedule, and they should not clock in until they are ready to work. So: if you clock in after lunch, but forget to clock out when you leave... You don't get paid for the whole afternoon. However, some employers must pay their employees at least semi-monthly with an equal number of days between pay periods, if possible. The Company must maintain accurate time records on all employees, and each employee bears primary responsibility for enabling the Company to do that. An employee’s schedule is 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a thirty minute unpaid lunch break. ", in turn possibly tempting DOL to pay more attention to whatever personal records the employees may have maintained. However, the Department of Labor does not require any specific system for collecting this information, stating that “any timekeeping plan is acceptable as long as it is complete and accurate.” Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. The Fair Labor Standards Act -- the federal law that governs workplace record-keeping practices -- says employers must document work hours for nonexempt employees. Does it make a difference if you require them to turn a time sheet in at the end of a pay period instead of punching in and out every day. However, employers should avoid letting employees do that, since major discrepancies between the time clock … However, docking paychecks because there is a tardiness problem adds another layer to the issue. Where time records show elapsed time greater than the hours actually worked because of reasons such as employees choosing to enter their work places before actual starting time or to remain after their actual quitting time, the CO [Compliance Officer] shall determine whether any time is actually worked in these intervals. Is it illegal? Off-the-clock work may be illegal. PDF files require Adobe Reader for viewing. However, the state prohibits employment practices where employers deduct from paychecks and time clock hours without obtaining written authorization from the employee allowing those payroll deductions. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that covered non-exempt employees receive at least the minimum wage and at least one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The clocking time before and after your employees’ shift should only be a few minutes. I am a mobile technician and am often driving for 1 to 2 hours to a job in the morning and then again back to home. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protect employees from … Salary-based pay is a primary requisite to properly treat employees as exempt. Time Clocks & Labor Laws in Texas Record-Keeping Requirements. This law spells out some nuanced rules, including: Time clocks are never required at a job. She holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in psychology. Otherwise, docking their pay has another side. In Texas, conspicuous workplace areas include posting the payday law rules near time clocks or other areas that employees frequently visit. There are an additional four Texas labor law posters that are either optional, or mandatory only for a certain type of employer. 29 C.F.R. For enforcement purposes, this practice of computing working time will be accepted, provided that it is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a period of time, in the failure to compensate the employees properly for all hours they have actually worked. The records must also contain a statement made each pay period that, except where otherwise recorded, the employees worked neither more nor less than the scheduled hours. 785.48(b) explains that rounding off work times to the nearest 5 minutes, one-tenth of an hour, or even quarter of an hour is permissible, as long as it works both ways, i.e., both to the advantage and disadvantage of the employee. If a record is kept with respect to each employee employed on a weekly or monthly basis in an establishment or department thereof operating on a fixed schedule, indicating the exact schedule of hours per day and hours per week which that employee is normally expected to work, and if the payroll (or other) records maintained by the employer indicate for each worker or for each group of workers that such scheduled hours were, in fact, adhered to, this will be considered compliance with Reg. The FLSA requires employers to keep records on wages, hours and other items, as specified in Department of Labor regulations.Most of the information is of the kind generally maintained by employers in ordinary business practice and in compliance with other laws … 1. Return to Businesses & Employers The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to provide meal, smoking, or coffee breaks. State laws and lunchtime deduction policy. 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