As an hourly worker, you have no guaranteed income. You only get paid for the time that you work, and the number of hours you receive may vary substantially from week to week. You have to track when you work to get paid in full.
Whether your employer expects you to physically write down when you start and end each shift or you clock in and out at a specialized computer terminal, their records determine what you receive in each paycheck.
Is there is difference between your records and your pay?
Especially when a company uses digital timekeeping software, you probably expect that their records will be accurate, possibly more reliable than your own records. However, digital records are particularly susceptible to manipulation by your employer.
It might just take a few seconds for them to change when you ostensibly started or ended your shift and thereby reduce how much they have to pay you for your work. Is it legal for your employer to change your time clock records without notifying you or getting your consent?
Employers can make adjustments in specific situations
There are a handful of reasons why a company can change time clock records without violating a worker’s rights. If a worker forgets to clock in at the beginning of their shift or leaves without clocking out, then the company could adjust its records to reflect the actual time someone arrived at work or left the premises.
Typically, the company will have some record of when a worker started or ended their shift to justify these minor and infrequent changes.
It is not legal to make inaccurate adjustments
While the company can make changes to its records to more accurately reflect someone’s shift, it cannot change records to pay them less money. Both the reduction of time worked to prevent overtime wages and the strategic, minor reduction of time worked from multiple ships and possibly affecting multiple employees are both violations of workers’ rights.
Reducing time clock records to minimize what the company pays its workers in the form of wage theft that could potentially lead to financial claims against the business. Identifying and documenting wage theft at work can help you fight back when you don’t get paid for the work you have already performed.