California Court Holds Rounding Employee Time Punches to Nearest Quarter Hour OK—Under the Circumstances

Calculator Icon-02Executive Summary: Under California law, employers are required to pay employees for “all hours worked” when subject to the employer’s “control.” This raises the question: if an employer uses a timekeeping system that automatically rounds employee time punches up or down to the nearest quarter hour, is that lawful? The California Court of Appeals recently said “yes”—depending upon whether the rounding policy and practice are both neutral.

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Rounding Up: the Best Way to Comply with the Rounding Rules

Cheng, David - 300dpi
David Cheng

Most federal and state wage laws require hourly employees to be paid for all time considered hours worked, and requires the employer to accurately keep track of their time.  A question that often arises is whether employers may continue to round employees’ punch times for payroll purposes, notwithstanding the major advances in software and data collection technology that now permit companies to accurately capture time down to the nanosecond.

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