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Early clock-ins California

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  • Early clock-ins California

    I'm implementing a new time clock system that will be replacing timesheets for non-exempt employees in our business. We are a publishing company with office employees. We will be using the rounding feature to the nearest 15 minutes. I have read from my searching of these forums, this is allowed in California.

    There is another feature of the time clock I would like to use, but need some advice. We can put in a work schedule for each employee. If that employee clocks in a certain period before their shift is supposed to start, it will adjust the time to their start time. They call this feature "snapping". I was thinking 30 minutes or less before their scheduled start time. The original clock-in time is still saved in the system and is notated as being changed automatically. This is the same way the rounding is notated for other punches.

    If we have the employees agree to this ahead of time, is it legal?

    The employees would not be doing work between the time they clock-in and their start time. There is only one clock in the building. This would give them time to go to their workstation, put their things away, perhaps put their lunch away in the break room, get coffee, etc. It looks like the DOL site allows for this because it is not work time.

    If we can't implement something like this, employees arriving early would need to do all of those things first, then they would go back to the clock to clock-in sometime between their scheduled time and 7 minutes before.

    Any insights would be appreciated.


  • #2
    Non-Exempt employees must be paid based on actual time worked. It is not possible for the employee to agree to waive that. There is the rounding exception but that is a formal federal rule.

    The key is that you are telling your time system to "guess" some of the time. That is ok as long as you have a formal mechanism for employees to correct any errors. If the employee works 8.5 hours, you must pay them 8.5 hours. Period. No exceptions for any reason.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Does this software have the feature of not allowing the employee to clock in more than XX minutes ahead of their scheduled in time without immediate supervisor override? That might be a better option.
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