Time Rounding By Employer – Impact To Hourly Employees

March 01, 2021

Wage & Hour Violations

Are you an hourly employee working in California? If so, your employer may round your time, a system that should ensure that you are paid for the time you work, but can lead to unfair outcomes, in which case you may be entitled to compensation under California law.

What is Time Rounding

Time rounding is when you, as an hourly employee have your clock-in and clock-out times rounded, for example, to the nearest 5-minute segment or 15-minute segment, as your employer has determined. Your employer may do the rounding, or may have instructed you to round your time up or down.

Why You Might be Entitled to Compensation

California law requires that employees be paid for all the time they have worked, and with time rounding it is assumed that employees will round their time up and down, and so, over time, they will be paid for all the hours they work. But sometimes time rounding is unfair; for example, as an employee you are more likely to show up to work a few minutes early to avoid getting in trouble, than to show up a few minutes late. Because your clock-in time is rounded up you may often have a few minutes you don’t get paid for, but because you try to not show up late you don’t often get paid for a few extra minutes after clocking in late. If you feel you are not being fully compensated for your work, you may be experiencing a violation of employment law.

California Supreme Court Ruling on Time Rounding
Pursuant to Donohue v. AMN Services, rounding meal break punches is a violation of California labor code. According to this case, If your meal break is cut short for any reason you may be entitled to compensation under California law.

Are You Entitled to Compensation?

If you are an hourly employee and your employer uses time rounding, do you ever look at your time stubs and you aren’t sure if you are being paid in full for the time you worked? Or have you realized that your employer is unfairly rounding your time? Does your employer round your time for your lunch breaks? Give us a call, as you may have a claim against your employer for compensation, and we can determine whether there is a violation of employment law.

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