We are open for business through virtual meetings and teleconferences. Please call to (216) 912-2221 or click here to be connected to our attorneys.
All employees who work on an hourly basis deserve to be paid for the time they are on the clock. Unfortunately, there are situations when employers engage in time editing or rounding of hours, and this can significantly affect a person’s pay. At Scott & Winters Law Firm, LLC, we are here to help if you need a Cleveland time editing and rounding lawyer to investigate your situation. Our goal is to make sure that you recover full compensation, including any unpaid wages caused by your employer’s actions.
One common federal wage law (FLSA) violation occurs when employers round against their employees in a way that benefits the employer over time. The case law and regulations are clear: This is not permitted. When these violations do occur, they usually apply across the board and are often brought as a class and collective action.
How do you know if your employer is rounding your time illegally?
There are two main issues to consider. First, an employer can only round, at the maximum, to the nearest quarter-hour. That limit is found in the Department of Labor regulations. That means that an employer who rounds down the nearest half-hour or hour from when you clocked in is in violation of the law. Here’s an example. If you clock in at 7:52 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. shift and your employer has a rounding policy, then your employer has to round down to 7:45 a.m. If you clock in a 7:53 a.m., your employer can round up to 8:00 am. In each case, the rounding is proper because the employer is rounding to the nearest 15 minutes.
But an employer who rounds to the nearest quarter hour is not out of the woods yet. There is a second thing to consider. Employers can only round their workers’ time if, over a period of time, it comes out even. In other words, it must be a neutral policy. Many employers violate this law.
For example, a business that requires its employees to clock in five minutes early every day and then rounds to the start time may end up rounding against their employee above 95% of the time. Companies can save a lot of money doing this to all their employees for long stretches of time. When time rounding policies are not neutral, the workers may be entitled to unpaid wages.
One common violation the attorneys of Scott & Winters Law Firm frequently see is where the employer edits employee time worked. This is a violation that can usually be proven with the employer’s own records.
Most often, employers who commit this violation change employee times to the start or end of the scheduled shift, even though employees perform work duties or activities before and/or after the shift starting or ending times. This can be a violation of state and federal law where the employer fails to pay for all compensable time worked, including overtime hours. However, regardless of whether your employer tracks your time through a computerized time-keeping system or simply by way of weekly written timesheets, the practice of eliminating employee work hours through editing is illegal when it results in less time paid than time worked.
Federal wage law states that workers must be paid for any time they are “suffered or permitted to work.” If you have to do work activities before or after your shift, you need to be paid for them. If you are working with your employer’s knowledge, even if your employer has not specifically directed you to work outside your normal shift time, then you have to be paid for the time you are working.
Employers in some industries, such as manufacturing, frequently try to maximize work time through work policies that require employees to be dressed and ready to commence work immediately upon the start of their shifts. This typically requires that employees arrive to work before their shift in order to put on any protective clothing or gear, review job assignments for the day, or make sure their work area is clean and stocked with necessary supplies and materials.
At the end of their shift, employees might be required to stay over to discuss a job with their relief worker, clean their work area, log their work for the day, or return any protective clothing or gear. Some employers try not to pay for these duties performed before and after a shift. Such companies may have policies that require before and after duties to be done before or after the employee clocks in or out for the day or will simply edit out the time spent and reduce the employee’s time to just their scheduled hours.
If you know or suspect that your employer has engaged in time editing or rounding of your hours, you need to reach out to a lawyer immediately. At Scott & Winters Law Firm, LLC, we have the resources necessary to fully investigate employers who engage in time editing and rounding practices, and our goal is to make sure that you recover any unpaid wages you are entitled to. Our Cleveland wage and hour attorneys will not back down from aggressive employers, and you can contact us for a free consultation today. We are always available when you call (216) 912-2221.