Is it legal when my supervisor asks about details of my tardiness?

Is it legal when my supervisor asks about details of my tardiness? Find out on

Question - Date: 2007


I am currently a salaried employee. I work more than 40 hours a week on most weeks. I don’t receive any kind of overtime pay at all, however, I was off two days due to an eye injury and had pay taken off my cheque. I have asked HR and have only gotten vague responses.  Is it legal for this to take place? The company is American owned operating in  Canada. Thanks for your attention. I look forward to finding out.


Answer Paywizard:

You could have told your supervisor the reason of your tardiness the minute you came at work. You didn't, so he asked you. That's expected social behavior. Not telling him the reason of your tardiness might have left your supervisor guessing what your reasons were for showing
up late. Even if you did not want to tell your supervisor about your exact reasons, you could have said that you were late because of a private matter.

The subject matter surrounding an employer's right to information vs. an employee's right to privacy seems to be an ever proliferating area of complexity and contention. Courts have affirmed that employees have a limited right to be protected from unreasonable intrusion – see the Salary Calculator of - into their private affairs. But is the question of your supervisor, asking about the details of your tardiness an unreasonable intrusion?

If an employer expects you to be on the job at a certain time, violating that expectation reflects poorly on you, even if you called your employer to inform him of your tardiness. Furthermore, if you have a contract that defines your working hours, you may actually be in violation and therefore be putting your job in jeopardy. Even if you are not in violation of a contract, if you are not living up to expectations and do not fulfill your responsibilities as a loyal colleague, you might have given your supervisor a reason to reconsider your employment.