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Thread: Time Clock Rounding (CA) California

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Time Clock Rounding (CA) California

    I just started a new job last month, and found out that my new employer does time clock rounding to the nearest 15 minutes (rounding in favor of the employer). My schedule has me starting at 7am and going home at 3:30pm. We do not clock out for lunch... the time clock automatically deducts 1/2 hour from the time worked. My employer does not want us to clock in before 6:46am, becuase if we do, then they have to pay us from 6:45 to 7am. If we clock in at 6:46, the time clock rounds our hours up to 7am. When we leave, the time clock rounds our hours back to the nearest 15 minutes. If we clock out at 3:35pm, we are paid as if we clocked out at 3:30pm. If we clock out at 3:59pm, we are paid as if we clocked out at 3:45pm.

    For example, I clocked in at 6:46am, and clocked out at 4:09pm. By my calculations, that comes to 9.38 hours, minus the 1/2 hour lunch, equals 8.88 hours worked. I was only paid for 8.5 hours worked. Another day I clocked in at 6:51am & clocked out at 4:16pm. That puts me at 9.42 hours, minus 1/2 hour lunch, equals 8.92 hours worked. I was only paid for 8.75 hours. Is this legal in California, time clock rounding in favor of the employer? Thanx.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Such rounding is not allowed. You can file a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Here is the federal regulation. See the last sentence in paragraph (b):

    Having said that, however, if you clock in and get coffee, chat with friends, read the paper, etc., before beginning work, that time does NOT have to be paid.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 10-21-2006 at 04:20 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006


    I will also add, that if your shift is to start at 7 am, you could be punished, up to termination, for clocking in early without the bosses permission. Good luck on this!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    As concerned as I am about your employers time-keeping "rounding" practices, I am equally concerned about its "meal" practices.

    California law mandates that emplyees be provided a full, 30-minute, uninterrupted, meal period when they work 8 hour shifts AND this meal period must be provided with the first 5 hours of their shift. It is the employer's obligation to keep adequate records to prove compliance with the law. If a dispute over meal periods ever came up, your employer may be hard-pressed to prove it complied with the law.

    What's the big deal you may ask? If an employer does not provide an employee with a full 30-minute, duty free meal period and does not do so within the time frames established by law/regulation, the employer owes the employee 1 hour of "extra pay" for every shift it violted the law. Suffice to say, class action lawsuits on this very subject are rampant in California. One need look no further than the $172 million verdict against Wal-Mart
    Barry S. Phillips, CPA

    IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.

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