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Employment Law/Time Card Policy


I work for a small company in Colorado (12 employees)
Recently the company enacted a policy that states all timecards are due the following day by 9:00am. The employees have been accustomed to turning their timecards in at a weekly basis or at the very last minute sometimes requiring the Payroll department to re-create payroll to reflect the time from the tardy timecards.
This is expensive, unnaceptable, and in my oppinion, fosters laziness.
The discussion with management and the owner of the company resulted in a preliminary policy that states if timecards are not turned in within 48 hours of the end of the last shift, the time card would be rejected and the employee would not be paid.
Is that solution legal?

What are the legal options to address the situation?

What are the laws regarding timecard policies?

Any guideance will be helpful and appreciated.

It is illegal to withhold pay because no timecard is received. The Department of Labor holds the employer responsible for knowing when and where it's workers are working. When the timecards is not received on time you must pay the employee his regular scheduled wages than you can adjust the amount on the next paycheck. You do not have to pay any overtime until you have proof of overtime worked.

That being said if you have a policy and the policy is not followed you may discipline that employee with verbal warning, written warning and possible termination for not following company policy.

Regardless you cannot have a policy that withholds pay. Your policy should instead read:

Any employee turning their timecard in after the designated time of ___________ will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

This will be effective in getting cards in on time and it is not illegal.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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