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Employment Law/Modifying time clock punches


Is it legal for an employer to change/modify time clock punches when an employee clocks in a few minutes early for their shift?

For example, if an employee is scheduled to work at 4pm, but clocks in at 3:58pm. Will any member of the management team have the right to adjust the time punch to the scheduled time?

Time card punches may be rounded to the nearest 10 or 15 minutes per Department of Labor. It should be the same system with all punches morning and evening.

If you punched in at 3:58 it would be rounded to 4:00.

We round to the nearest 15 minutes at our company so if you punch in at 3:53 it would still round to 4:00 but if you punched in at 3:52 it would round to 3:45.

This is sometimes called the 7 minute rule by HR Directors.


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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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