California: Rounding Time is Not a Defense to Wage and Hour Claims Where Exact Time is Tracked


All Employers with Employees in CA


 October 24, 2022



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In Camp v. Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., the California Court of Appeal recently stated that where an employer can and does track employees’ time worked in minutes, neutral time rounding is not a defense for failing to pay employees for all time worked. There, Home Depot had an electronic timekeeping system that employees used to clock in and out, recording their time to the minute. However, the employer also had a rounding policy that rounded employees’ shift time to the quarter hour.


Following the California Supreme Court rulings in Troester v. Starbucks Corp. and Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC, the court essentially eliminated employers’ ability to rely on neutral rounding policies to avoid paying for all time worked. However, this case creates a conflict with standing precedent permitting neutral rounding, but gives courts the ability to determine which rule they may follow. The appellate court invited the state Supreme Court to weigh in on this topic, which is likely to happen.


The court noted that rounding may still be valid where a neutral rounding policy is used due to an employer’s inability to capture the actual minutes worked by an employee. The court also did not address whether an employer who has the actual ability to capture an employee’s minutes worked is required to do so. We are likely to see further discussion on this topic, and employers with rounding policies should consider consulting with legal counsel to determine whether to continue their use.


Action Items

  1. Remove rounding policies used with electronic time tracking methods.
  2. Have appropriate personnel trained on timekeeping requirements.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR Hotline at (833) 268-5531 for further assistance.

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. © 2022 ManagEase