Questions frequently arise regarding payment of employees who disobey company policy, such as:
- My employee worked through lunch, even though I specifically told her not to. Do I have to pay her for that time?
- We have a handbook policy against unauthorized overtime. My employee worked overtime without permission. Do I have to pay him for that time?
- My employee spent the last two hours of her shift talking with coworkers instead of working. Do I have to pay her for that time?
In all of these cases, the answer is yes, the employee must be paid for time worked. Each of these examples illustrates a discipline issue, not to be confused with a payroll issue. Even though the employee disobeyed company policy, the employee must still be paid for that time because technically work was performed, according to the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.
Focus instead on where the problem actually resides: the employee's insubordination. Rather than docking the employee's pay, the appropriate response would be to initiate the progressive discipline process, including written warnings up to and including termination of employment.
For questions on handling your company's wage and hour dilemmas, please contact Nextep's HR Department.