Monday, November 5, 2012

It's November, so See's Candy is on every employer's mind...

I've made my own views about time-clocks for employers known before, but here comes a case that may change that.  Even if you are using time cards that an employee fills out by hand each day, questions come up about whether an employer can round time up (or down) to the nearest five, ten or fifteen minute period.  

Now, the California Court of Appeals has an answer for us - and again, it's a good result for employers (always nice to see in this employee-friendly state).  In See's Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, a case out of San Diego, the court upheld a policy used by See's Candy that rounds employee punch in/out times to the nearest one-tenth of an hour.  That's six minutes, for the math challenged among us.

The policy must be "fair and neutral on its face"  and over time it cannot appear to deprive the employee of just compensation for the time they have worked.  My guess is that this will translate as "round up, as well as down" as an easy-to-follow rule for employers.

This ruling ties in with policies from the United States Department of Labor and  California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.  And, as we get closer to Thanksgiving, it is a well-deserved treat for employers everywhere.