California: Guidance on Rounding Timekeeping Entries

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December 9, 2016

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The California Court of Appeals recently confirmed that employees may round timecard entries to the nearest tenth of an hour.  In Silva v. See’s Candy Shop, Inc., a former employee brought a class action lawsuit challenging some of See’s timekeeping practices: rounding time card entries up or down to the nearest tenth (six minutes) of an hour, and a grace period in which employees could punch in or out up to 10 minutes before or after their scheduled shift, respectively.  Employees were not to perform work during this grace period and were not paid for time spent punched in during the grace period.  Rather, employees were intended to use such grace period time for personal activities.

The Court of Appeals stated that rounding timecard entries to the nearest tenth of an hour is permitted, so long as the company’s rounding policy is fair and neutral on its face and as applied.  Although this type of rounding has been common practice for many employers, this case now expressly permits this practice.  The court was urged to publish its decision to provide support for California employers who may be targeted for rounding claims.

Action Items

  1. Review the full text of the case here.
  2. Review timekeeping and rounding policies to ensure that they are written and applied in a consistent and neutral manner.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2017 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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