time clocks are supposed to accurately record hours worked so that employees will
be paid for all hours worked, there has been an increase in the number of lawsuits
alleging that employers failed to pay employees properly, despite the use of
timeclocks. The Department of Labor
permits the rounding of employees’ working periods, unless such policies deprive
workers of compensation. Many cases addressing this issue have made their way
to state and federal courts in recent months.
one New Jersey class action suit, 200 employees of American
Airlines claimed that the airline rounded down the hours they worked
on time clocks. In another class action suit in California, more than 700 Dollar
Tree employees alleged that the discount retailer implemented time
clock policies that rounded down hours worked to the nearest 15 minutes. These
rounding practices reportedly deprived the employees of regular and overtime
federal regulation acknowledges
that the purpose of using time clocks is to avoid employers’ “failure to
compensate the employees properly for all the time they have actually worked”
and allows rounding times to the nearest 5 minutes, or to the nearest one-tenth
or quarter of an hour. In New York, rounding policies are generally allowed,
but policies that “systematically undercompensate
employees” are illegal.
to the Department
of Labor, employers using time clocks are not required to pay employees
who voluntarily start before or stay after their scheduled shifts, as long as
the employees are not required to work during that time. However, most employees
who begin their shifts early or end their shifts late usually conduct actual assigned
work during such hours.
who have been sued by employees for wage and overtime violations as a result of
rounding down hours on time clocks include Kroger
Disney Parks & Resorts US Inc., and Morango
Casino Resort & Spa.