The Fourth District Court of Appeal has held that an employer can round an employee’s time entries to the nearest tenth of an hour. See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v The Superior Court of San Diego County, D060710, CA Court of Appeal (Oct. 29, 2012).
Pamela Silva brought a wage-and-hour class action complaint against her former employer, See’s Candy Shops, Inc. After certifying a class of current and former California employees, the trial court granted Silva’s summary adjudication motion on four of See’s Candy’s affirmative defenses and entered an order dismissing the four defenses. See’s Candy challenged the dismissal of two of the affirmative defenses which pertained to See’s Candy’s timekeeping policy that rounds employee punch in/out times to the nearest one-tenth of an hour. After the Court of Appeals denied See’s petition, the California Supreme Court ordered the appellate court to vacate its prior order and issued an order to show cause in the matter.
Although California employers have long engaged in employee time-rounding, there is no California statute or case law specifically authorizing or prohibiting this practice. As such, it is appropriate that an employer adopt the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which allows employers to use time rounding policies as long as the rounding is fair and neutral on its face and “it is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a period of time, in failure to compensate the employees properly for all the time they have actually worked.”
Silva did not present any evidence that See’s grace period policy, which allowed employees to clock in up to 10 minutes early and clock out up to 10 minutes late, inaccurately calculated employee wages. Awrit of mandate was issued ordering the superior court to vacate the portion of its summary adjudication order pertaining to See’s timekeeping policy.
Though federal law allows rounding, the state of Nevada has forbidden the practice since 1986.
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