With the prevalence of class action lawsuits in an employee-friendly state like California, employers must be aware of proper time card rounding policies and what work is being conducted off the clock by their employees.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal recently issued a pro-employer decision approving the use of time card rounding and solidifying the application of the de minimis rule in California.
In Corbin v. Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership, the court found that a time clock rounding policy was valid where all employee time punches were rounded to the nearest quarter-hour without an eye towards whether the employer or the employee benefitted from the rounding. The court held that state law claims for failure to pay wages and overtime could not be maintained where the employer’s rounding policy was both facially neutral and neutral in its application. Meaning, the policy, on average, favored neither overpayment nor underpayment.
The court held that state law claims for failure to pay wages and overtime could not be maintained where the employer’s rounding policy was both facially neutral and neutral in its application.
The court also reaffirmed the application of the de minimis rule in California, which allows an employer to disregard small or insignificant amounts of compensable work performed by employees under certain circumstances. The Corbin court confirmed that the de minimis rule permits insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the scheduled working hours to be disregarded. The court specifically rejected the notion that employers are required to conduct constant audits to determine if an employee may have worked a few minutes off-the-clock.
While the Corbin decision is favorable to employers, it is important nonetheless to make sure your company’s policies and procedures do not cross the line, thus inviting expensive wage-and-hour lawsuits.
RPNA will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about time card rounding policies and de minimis off-the-clock work. RPNA is also experienced in all wage and hour issues, as well as defending against all employment-related claims.
Please contact us at (818) 992-9999.