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Ask the HR Expert — Hourly Pay Confusion

Camille Bradbury /
Text: "Ask the HR Expert"

Q: We have an employee who worked outside of normal business hours. This employee did not get permission prior to working on this day. By law, do we have to pay the employee for that day?

A: Yes, you are required by law to pay this employee for hours worked, even if that time wasn’t authorized. However, you can discipline the employee for working during an unauthorized time. If you have an existing policy stating authorization is required in this type of situation that the employee has signed, I would include that with your disciplinary documentation.

I would also recommend issuing a friendly reminder to all of your employees stating that they need proper authorization to work outside of their normal schedules per company policy and summarize the process that they need to follow in order to get authorization.

Bottom Line:
Employees must be compensated for every hour they work. Having an internal policy helps you set parameters, like receiving authorization before working outside of your normal business hours. Revisit other time and leave policies to ensure your expectations are clear.

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