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Calculating Hours Worked New Jersey

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  • Calculating Hours Worked New Jersey

    I had a question based on the computation of hours worked.

    I think our company policy for the rounding of hours is a fairly standard one. If you punch in your time card within 7 minutes of the hour or half hour, it is rounded to the hour or half hour accordingly, i.e., 6:53 to 7:07 is counted as 7, 7:08 to 7:22 is 7:15, and 7:23 to 7:27 is 7:30, etc. This was implemented about a year or 2 ago (maybe even longer) because the owners got tired of having to compute times such as punching in at 7:09 and punching out at 2:57, and then taking the extra or differences of each day and tallying them at the end of the week.

    So we have been going with the 7 minute rule as explained for quite some time now. Well, on our last payday, my coworker noticed that his check was short by a quarter of an hour and couldn't figure out why. So he went in to the owner (our manager left and now the owners do the actual adding up of time) and asked if there was a mistake. The owner took out his time card and said something to the effect of you punched in at 7am, 7:03am, 7:02am, 7:04am, and 6:59am, and since the difference makes up 8 minutes, we docked you 15 minutes of work time.
    Needless to say my coworker was dumbfounded and asked how that worked. The owner said that is how the time was always calculated, which is entirely untrue. Even when we had a manager doing our time cards, both owners and their kids (the VPs) would go over the times and it was never handled in this manner.
    I know this most likely falls into the "it's not fair, but legal" category, but shouldn't they have given notice if they at least intended to change the timeclock system? And other than that, I know I don't always make it in at 7am on the dot, but anywhere in the 7 minute span, and I definately wasn't docked any pay that week though I can guess my total add-ups would have been over 7 minutes. It also seems that they used it only for their benefit rather than doing it equally. As in, if I worked from 7am to 3:02pm every day, I would not gain the extra 15 minutes based on the +10 minute total from the week.

    Thank you for any explanations or help you can provide. It is definately tough because the owners and kids have no HR training, and our manager at least had an outside HR company to help, but they are no longer in use, and the owners are content to just do things how they want rather than check on how legal it is so I may be looking to this forum alot more often now for help.
    Last edited by pan465; 10-05-2006, 05:31 PM.

  • #2
    It sounds to me that there is some miscommunication. Either your co-worker did not understand the explanation or the owner explained it incorrectly to your co-worker.

    The first part of your post is a fair description of how rounding "generally" works. In fact I believe it's the "8 minute" rule that is standard practice. If an employee works at least 8 minutes of the 15 minute block, the employee receives pay for the entire 15 minutes. I am not aware of a rounding practice where start/stop times are averaged over the course of the week.

    My best guess is that your assumption is correct on that "it may not be fair, but it's legal".


    • #3
      Mine, too, robb71.
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