Do we have to pay employees for that they clock in for but aren’t supposed to?

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2011

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Do we have to pay employees for that they clock in for but aren’t supposed to?

I work in the payroll department of a manufacturing company. Supervisors clock in at 6:45 and warm up the machines. The other workers are supposed to clock in at 7 to work. However, instead they keep clocking in at the same time as the supervisors and just stand around talking, or maybe smoking in the breakroom. Do we have to pay them for this 15 minutes? What should we do?

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The best way to answer your question is for you to review your employee handbook (assuming you have one) re clocking guidelines in that it should control the payment of an employee's time cards. If you do not have an employee handbook which includes clocking in of time and the like, you should have one created and signed by all employees. That would resolve the problem that you are writing about.

If you have a policy of having employees clock in and they are paid by clocked in time, you are required to pay them for such time even though they are not working. I suggest that you consult with a labor attorney to get a handbook written up if one does not exists and set up a policy in writing as to the paid time period mandating a clock in first for payment setting forth the hours of work.

Good question.

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