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Thread: Grace Period for Time Clocks

  1. #1
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    Default Grace Period for Time Clocks

    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    She is confusing company policy with law.

    While the law permits a certain amount of rounding if the employer wishes to utilize it, there is no "grace period" mandated by law. The employer can legally consider you late if you punch in 1 minute late, if he so chooses.

    Where may I find this within the DOL regs? We are in the process of implementing a timekeeping system and we are questioning where to find information regarding grace periods before/after shift/breaks.

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    I would not use the term "grace period". You are implying something not actually said in the regulation.

    785.48 Use of time clocks.

    (a) Differences between clock records and actual hours worked. Time clocks are not required. In those cases where time clocks are used, employees who voluntarily come in before their regular starting time or remain after their closing time, do not have to be paid for such periods provided, of course, that they do not engage in any work. Their early or late clock punching may be disregarded. Minor differences between the clock records and actual hours worked cannot ordinarily be avoided, but major discrepancies should be discouraged since they raise a doubt as to the accuracy of the records of the hours actually worked.

    (b) “Rounding” practices. It has been found that in some industries, particularly where time clocks are used, there has been the practice for many years of recording the employees' starting time and stopping time to the nearest 5 minutes, or to the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour. Presumably, this arrangement averages out so that the employees are fully compensated for all the time they actually work. For enforcement purposes this practice of computing working time will be accepted, provided that it 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.
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    slvmf, you should have started your own new thread - I will start one for you. You
    added your question to another poster's old thread.
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    For the record, and I'm not yelling at anyone, just making a request; next time could you please start a new thread instead of appending a 5 year old one? Thanks.

    Ah, I see Betty beat me to it while I was distracted. Thanks, Betty.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    You're welcome.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    I sure wouldn't call it a "grace period" either. Employees construe that to mean that they're allowed to be late to work.

    If employees are supposed to be at work at 7am, then they're supposed to be at work at 7am. If they punch in at 7:01 they're late, regardless of what the employer's "rounding off" practices are.

    I can't tell you how many discussions I've had with plant supervisors and employees about that over the years. They get it in their heads that there's a "grace period" of five minutes (or whatever) before an employee is actually considered tardy.

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