Management not exempt from punching the clock

Can They Do That?

Your Money

February 20, 2005|By Carrie Mason-Draffen

My company requires some of its management staff to punch a time clock. I am one of those managers, and I think it's a strange rule. What are the laws regarding this?

Your company can legally require you to clock in and out despite your status. But if you are truly a manager, a supervisor can't dock your pay because the clock shows you arrived late or left early or took a couple of hours off. If the boss did that, he or she would risk losing exempt status for you.

Exempt status allows the company to avoid paying you overtime or even minimum wage. But in exchange, the company has to pay you a salary it generally can't dock.

By law, companies have to keep records for nonexempt employees, and the time clock is a way to do that.

Those employees probably include some of the people you manage and generally fall outside of executive, administrative, professional and outside-sales categories.

The recordkeeping for employees like you is voluntary, and it's fine as long as the company doesn't use it to try to pay you less.

Carrie Mason-Draffen is a columnist for Newsday, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. E-mail her at yourmoney@ tribune.com.

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