Time Rounding: Should Employers Do So When They Track Employees’ Actual Hours Worked?

November 10, 2022 | From HRCalifornia Extra

by Christina Baggett, Esq. Associate Employment Counsel, Meta Platforms, Inc.

Time rounding in California has always been a risky business practice for employers. Even when it’s done neutrally, rounding time can unintentionally result in underpaying employees over a given period of time for all actual hours worked: While such a practice might, over a three-year period, result in one individual or the entire workforce being overpaid, for instance, adding another year to the period could easily yield the opposite outcome and risk creating employer liability.

Despite the risks inherent in rounding, many California employers continue this practice and hope to avoid liability by showing that their policies and practices meet the standard articulated in the 2012 See’s Candy Shops, Inc. case. Under the See’s Candy standard, as long as the employer can prove that its timekeeping policy is neutral on its face and, based on a time record analysis, doesn’t result in employees being underpaid over the course of the applicable period, it can avoid liability for failure to pay employee wages.

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