In California, employers cannot shave off time from the hours worked by an employee. For example, if an employee’s scheduled work time is at 9:00 a.m., however, the employee reports to work, clocks-in, and begins to work at 8:55 a.m., the employer cannot shave or round the employee’s time to the scheduled start time. Also, if an employee clocks-out for lunch at 11:55 a.m. and clocks back in after lunch at 12:20 p.m., the employer cannot automatically deduct 30 minutes of time from the employees hours worked, the employer can only deduct 25 minutes during which the employee actually took a lunch break. At the end of the day, if the employee’s scheduled time to end his/her shift is at 5:00 p.m. and the employee works even minutes after and clocks out at 5:05 p.m., the employer cannot shave or round the employee’s time to 5:00 p.m. This practice is known as improper rounding. Employers will argue that rounding employee’s time is permissible. However, the only reason why employers utilize rounding is for their benefit in that over time the minutes they shave from employees results in again to the employer and a loss of wages to the employee.
If any of your clients provide you with a pay stub reflecting only whole numbers, such as 40.0 hours or 80.0 hours, i.e., no minutes are reflected, it would be prudent to obtain your client’s clock-in and clock-out records to determine if the employer implemented an improper rounding practice in recording the hours worked. You should also ask your clients for details about their daily routine, including pre and post-shift duties, such as, donning and duffing uniforms, wearing protective equipments, washing hands, preparing merchandise, gathering necessary work tools, etc. which would also assist in determining if the employer implemented an improper rounding practice in recording the hours worked.
The Nourmand Law Firm, APC exclusively represents California employees throughout the state of California to enforce California wage and hour laws and employment rights. If any of your clients find themselves subjected to wage and hour violations, such as those stated here, or any employment discrimination, including but not limited to, disability discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, etc. Please contact our office at (800) 700-WAGE (9243) to discuss your client’s concerns. We provide a free consultation and pay referral fees to attorneys pursuant to state bar rules of professional conduct.