Can My Employer Fire Me For Coming in Late and Forgetting to Punch In Once?

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“Three weeks ago I came into work late and forgot to punch in. A few day later, I was reminded to fill out a missed punch form, so I stated the time that I came in was 11:30am. (An estimation because I was unsure). My manager approved the missed punch form by signing it. On Nov 29th, I was called into the assistant store managers office and was shown the said form. Because I wrote that I came into work at 11:30am. instead of 11:44am., which was the actual time I had arrived (per security tape) I was fired right on the spot over 14 minutes! I worked for the company for a year and a half. Can my employer do this?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

While there may be language in your employment contract that specifically addresses the punch in process, it is unlikely that your employer can use an isolated incident as justification for firing you for cause. That said, if you are an “at will employee” your employer can fire you at any time for any reason. If you do not have an employment contract, some states recognized an implied contract of employment, but those laws vary by state. If you believe you were wrongly terminated, you should consult with a qualified employment law attorney who will be able to better help you.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.