Time Clock Rounding

Wage & Hour Laws August 20th, 2019
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What Is Time Clock Rounding?


California wage and hour laws rank among the toughest in the nation and these laws provide considerable protections for hourly employees with regard to keeping time and ensuring that these employees are appropriately compensated for all hours they work. However, some company’s have adopted time clock rounding policies that have a negative impact on certain employees, causing them to be routinely underpaid, which may result in a legitimate wage and hour claim.

If your employer’s unfair time clock rounding practice has resulted in you being repeatedly under-compensated for the time you have worked, you may have a wage and hour claim against your employer. Contact our reputable California employment law attorney at Davtyan Law Firm today to discuss your legal options.


Understanding CA Time Clock Rounding Laws


Generally speaking, employers in California are required to pay hourly and non-exempt employees for all hours they work. However, problems can arise when employers and their workers disagree with the method by which work hours are calculated. California employers are required to keep accurate records of their employees’ hours and provide regular wage statements that state the total hours employees have worked. But how can employers ensure that employees’ hours are fairly calculated? Should the employer track and pay employees for every minute they work? For every second? This is where the practice of time clock rounding comes in.

Time clock rounding is a common practice adopted by California employers to adjust an employee’s hours to a more easily calculated number, either rounding up or down to the nearest increment of a certain amount, such as to the nearest 6-minute or 15-minute increment. The problem with time clock rounding is that it sometimes results in employees being underpaid for the hours they have worked, and legal disputes may occur when this rounding practice routinely allows an employer to undercompensate employees.


What Does the Law Say?


Both state and federal agencies have established that employers may round an employee’s hours to the nearest five minutes, six minutes or quarter-hour for the purpose of calculating the number of hours worked. With regard to this law, the state of California follows federal regulation 29 CFR § 785.48, which allows employers to calculate employee worktime by rounding “to the nearest 5 minutes, or the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour,” so long as the rounding system the employer adopts is fair and “is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a period of time, in failure to compensate the employees properly for all the time they have actually worked.”

According to the law, a company’s time clock rounding policy is only lawful if it is neutral, is consistently applied and favors neither the employee nor the employer to a significant degree. In other words, it cannot be designed to systematically undercompensate employees for the time they have worked.


Our CA Wage and Hour Lawyers Can Help


According to the law, a time clock rounding policy is only legal if it is fair and neutral on its face and is applied in such a way that it does not routinely undercompensate employees. If your employer’s time clock rounding system consistently results in time being shaved off your hours worked, or if your hours are only ever rounded down and never up, don’t hesitate to protect your legal rights. Contact our experienced California overtime wage and hour attorney at Davtyan Law Firm as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of filing a time clock rounding claim against your employer for back pay and penalties. 

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