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Q&A: Employees Forget to Clock Out for Their Breaks

There are a few steps you can take to help your employees remember to clock out for breaks and meal periods:

1. Ask employees why they’re forgetting. There may be contributing factors worth addressing. You can also ask for feedback on what may not be working well with the current timekeeping procedures.
2. Review your processes and systems to ensure they are easy to use and find. If you have a physical time clock, put it in a spot where your employees will pass by during meal and rest periods.
3. Encourage your employees to use calendar reminders, especially if they clock in and out from their computers.
4. Share why proper timekeeping is important—not just for the individuals, but for the team and organization.
5. If it makes sense given your employee demographics, offer individual or group rewards for when employees consistently remember to clock out.
6. If all else fails, use disciplinary action to hold employees accountable to your timekeeping processes. Ensure that employees are disciplined consistently.
This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.
Answer from Emily, MBA, SPHR:
Emily’s robust experience overseeing HR in the non-profit, healthcare, and hospitality industries brings valuable knowledge to clients. She graduated college with degrees in Music and Entrepreneurial Business, and her passion for helping and working alongside people led her to the field of HR. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling and home brewing.

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