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Time Clock Legalities in California

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  • Time Clock Legalities in California

    I work for a local government agency in California that uses the Kronos time management system.

    I am scheduled to start at 7:30am and leave at 4:30pm. However, being an IT guy things don't work out that way. I get a 1 hour lunch break and I am an hourly employee.

    The rules in the system are as follows:

    If I come in 6 minutes late it automatically adjusts my time back to 7:30.
    If I leave 6 minutes late to make up for coming in late it adjusts the time to 4:30

    However
    If I am 7 minutes late it deducts 12 minutes from my time.
    If I stay 7 minutes late to make up for being seven minutes late it still deducts 2/10ths from my time card.

    If I punch out for lunch at 12:00 and punch back in at 12:45 it automatically adjusts my punch-in time to 1:00.

    If I arrange with my manager to come in early so I can go home early:
    If I come in at 7:15 and leave at 4:15 it deducts time from my time card because it advances my punch-in time from 7:15 to 7:30 and then subtracts the 15 minutes when I leave. So I get shorted a half an hour.

    Then if I do accrue overtime it is deducted from my paycheck.

    Is any of this legal? Thanks in advance for the reply!

  • #2
    I'm assuming you are a nonexempt (generally read, hourly-paid) employee, otherwise you wouldn't be asking these questions.

    Generally speaking, employers can round to the nearest 15-minutes, as long as it is done consistently and does not benefit the employer to the exclusion of the employee, but it does appear, if I am understanding you correctly, that there are situations in which this does not occur.

    The supervisor or manager (or somebody) has the ability to correct your punch when you return to work early from lunch. You must be paid for all the time you work.

    You may wish to file a claim for unpaid wages with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. They will investigate, make a determination and, if justified, order back pay.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Thanks Patty. I read the text of the law and that's how I understood it. For purposes of discussion, that law seems antiquated given the capability of today's technology. I'm sure when the the law was written originaly, it took into account a person manually calculating the time, thus allowing for rounding to the nearest quarter hour to make things easier. However, with digital time clocks the time is exact and it automatically calcualtes the time. Perhaps the law should be updated to today's standards.

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