Employer Fines Workers for Being Late: What Do You Think?

BlogHer Original Post

Anyone who has ever attended a meeting knows how annoying it is that people trickle in late. Depending on the people involved it might be running a few minutes behind or way late. My opinion is that being late equates to disrespecting other people's time. Not everyone feels that way. So, what's the solution?

I'm not saying anyone is perfectly on time all the time (myself included). We've all arrived to meetings late and slithered in mumbling our apologies. Yet, you and I both know people who are systemically late. Like all the time, every time late.

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz decided the solution was to fine employees $10 for every minute they are late to a meeting. So, if you're 5 minutes late, that's $50 out of your pocket. It adds up fast.

So, his company decided to institute a tardiness policy and also underscore the importance of an entrepreneur’s time.

He added the push back he gets when employees are incurred with a late fee. “They [employees] go, ‘Why? Why are you charging me so much money? I had to go to the bathroom. What the hell?’”

CNN Money has a video with co-founder Ben Horowitz explaining why he fines late workers. He calls it a consistent with their cultural values of honoring entrepreneur's time.

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Credit Image: Honou on Flickr

I personally agree with the cultural meme in principle. Honoring someone else's time is paramount. Time is precious. Honoring other people's time is an act of respect. Where the approach goes awry for me is the magnitude of the fine and the no-excuse policy. From a work-life balance and let's be real human beings in our business lives perspective, being whacked for one minute of tardiness is ludicrous. Unless they are planning on installing catheters into their workforce, breaks are a fact of life. I wouldn't take kindly to paying $50 if I needed to swing by the restroom between back-to-back meetings.

How do you feel about being late for meetings?

What is your reaction to the policy of being fined $10 per minute you are late?

Would love to hear your experiences and opinions in the comments below.


Paula Gregorowicz plucks women business owners off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses using a unique blend of practical action and inner awareness called Intuitive Intelligence®.

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