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Thread: New Time Keeping System Rounding Policy - Indiana

  1. #1

    Default New Time Keeping System Rounding Policy - Indiana

    I have a question about some changes that have occurred in the recent weeks at my workplace. For background and perspective, we are a small company with less than 25 employees which includes full time and part time.

    Previously, all hourly workers were to fill out their timesheet on a spreadsheet manually and were paid accordingly with exception for any major absence or excessive tardyness. For example, an employee was expected to arrive at 8:40am and leave at 5:15pm. Time was paid from 8:45 until 5:15 with a 45min unpaid meal break. If the employee was consistently late, then pay may have been deducted accordingly, however, hourly employees were paid on that schedule without regard to small (few minute) variations in arrival/departure time. This also includes that if they were done with the work day at 5:05, everyone could leave and were still paid until 5:15pm.

    We have now moved to a new time keeping system that requires logging into a workstation, accessing a website, and then entering a user name and password. Admittedly, it is more accurate and up to date, but is more time consuming to access. With the new system came new "rules" for what will be paid or not paid. The system is not run on a standard rounding system, nor a true time clocked in is time paid system. Workers are expected to arrive a minimum of 5 minutes before their scheduled time to clock in and "be ready to work", and no overtime or time beyond the schedule will be paid.

    So, for example: Scheduled time to work is 8:45am - 5:15pm with a 45 min lunch break. Employee is expected to arrive by 8:40am but any time that is punched before 8:45am will be rounded up to 8:45am and will not be paid additional. (So you can't clock in early and be paid for that). If that employee clocks out for lunch and returns a couple minutes prior to 45 minutes and clocks back in, the lunch period is rounded to the full 45 minutes unpaid. At the end of the day, if the employee is busy working and clocks out late at 5:25pm, the time clock rounds back to the regular schedule of 5:15pm and the employee is not paid for any extra time. However, in the reverse, if the employee is late and clocks in at 8:47, they are docked pay for those two minutes and only paid starting at 8:47am. Same situation occurs if they finish the day early and clock out at 5:10pm, they are only paid until 5:10pm not 5:15pm as is on the schedule. And of course, it's the same for lunch breaks as well.

    My thoughts are that this is a type of rounding since the system rounds all time logged to the standard set schedule unless you arrive late, leave early, or run long on lunch. So basically, the rounding only benefits the employer. Is this legal? My thoughts are that it is not legal, however, I'm no expert. It's unethical at the very least and in just a few short weeks the change is serving to diminish the morale of the hourly employees.

    Thank you for any insight you can provide.

  2. #2
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    The actual regulation is 29 CFR 785.48. The maximum rounding window is 7 minutes (nearest quarter hour) and it must go both ways.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/785.48
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
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  3. #3

    Default Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by DAW View Post
    The actual regulation is 29 CFR 785.48. The maximum rounding window is 7 minutes (nearest quarter hour) and it must go both ways.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/785.48
    Would you have any recommendations as to how to handle this? I am already one of the only employees that ever questions anything, so I would need some firm information to back me up if I press the issue.

    This is the same employer that as of the beginning of the year, dropped me from Salary pay to hourly because of the law changes that have yet to fully pass. So, I've already lost benefits and pay to that situation despite filling a role that more than qualifies for administrative exemption.

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    There is no legal requirement that any employer pay any employee as Exempt Salaried.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAW View Post
    There is no legal requirement that any employer pay any employee as Exempt Salaried.
    I'm aware of that fact. I am more concerned about the time keeping issue. I stated that example to reiterate that unfortunately this employer doesn't seem particularly inclined to take care of it's employees and is more concerned with cost savings, whether perceived or realistic. I could just leave, and I've been looking, but I would also like to kindly point out which laws they are breaking while I'm exiting.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by workingmom12 View Post
    I'm aware of that fact. I am more concerned about the time keeping issue. I stated that example to reiterate that unfortunately this employer doesn't seem particularly inclined to take care of it's employees and is more concerned with cost savings, whether perceived or realistic. I could just leave, and I've been looking, but I would also like to kindly point out which laws they are breaking while I'm exiting.
    DAW posted a link to the exact law you would reference.

  7. #7
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    Agree it is not legal. And just to note that while the employer must follow those wage laws on rounding and pay accordingly, they can certainly use other methods such as discipline procedures on any employee who is clocking in or out outside the new policy.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by hr for me View Post
    Agree it is not legal. And just to note that while the employer must follow those wage laws on rounding and pay accordingly, they can certainly use other methods such as discipline procedures on any employee who is clocking in or out outside the new policy.
    So basically they need to adjust their rounding procedure to ensure that they are following the law by rounding in a manner that is fair to both employer and employees, or just not round at all, and pay on true clocked-in time? But, if an employee routinely arrives much earlier or stays late, or even has repeated tardy arrivals, then that would be disciplined according to policy for not adhering to their regular schedule, correct?

    That said, I'm fine with being asked to adhere to my schedule as closely as possible. I just don't like being docked time if I'm a minute late coming in but not paid for clocking out a minute late. We all know time keeping isn't an exact science, and sometimes you'll get stuck in traffic and be late or sometimes there is an issue and you stay late to sort it out, I just want to be compensated fairly for the time I spend working.

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