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  • Can my employer put me on a time clock?

Jan 2007

Q. As a salaried exempt supervisor, I have been given more than 40 hours of work per week, had pay cuts, and not been treated well in general. Now my employer is requiring all the salaried exempt employees to use the time clock. My understanding is that when you punch a timecard, you become an hourly employee. Is that true?

A. Use of a time clock does not make a job nonexempt. A job's exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is based on a number of criteria, such as job content, scope and responsibility, latitude, and the job's impact on the organization.

Before a job changes exemption status, it must have a substantial change in the variables mentioned above. Many employers require all employees to punch a timecard, whether to track when people come and go, or even to make sure people indeed show up for work.

Although the introduction of the time clock does not in itself change your exemption status under FLSA, you may want to ask your HR department what precipitated this decision.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional

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