You get up earlier and take different routes to work, but you often arrive at the office late. Recently, your manager mentioned your job being on the line if you do not resolve the issue. Does your company have the legal right to terminate you for being late a few times?
Chron explores the connection between employment law and tardiness. Understand the options companies have for responding to tardy employees.
Rather than lose your job, you may discover your company docked your pay on your next check because of your tardiness. The Fair Labor Standards Act notes employees exempt from docked pay because of lateness, such as seasonal employees and salespeople paid a commission. Companies may dock a non-exempt employee’s pay, but only for the time the person missed. Further, employers may round up in half-hour increments, so if you arrived at work at 9:45 rather than 9, your employer may dock you a full hours’ pay.
When hired, did you sign an employment contract or an agreement? If your agreement notes your at-will employment status, your company may fire you at any time for any non-discriminatory reason, such as habitual tardiness.
Your employment contract may stipulate the consequences of arriving to work late. The same applies if you have a collective bargaining contract with your company.
Reason for lateness
Besides federal law, Ohio law also dictates employer and employee rights regarding tardiness. For instance, in some states, volunteer EMTs and firefighters cannot lose their jobs for being late if they got caught up responding to an emergency. Depending on the reason for your lateness, your company may not have the right to take action against you.
No matter your reason for arriving to work late, you may have employee rights to protect. By learning those rights, you better understand how you and your employer may act.