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California Employers Should Review Rounding Practices
We want to make you aware of a recent California Supreme Court decision that may impact your business. The court ruled that “employers cannot engage in the practice of rounding time punches — that is, adjusting the hours that an employee has actually worked to the nearest preset time increment — in the meal period context.” The decision also ruled that an employer’s time records showing non-compliant meal periods raise a rebuttable presumption of meal period violations.
Under California law, employers must generally provide non-exempt employees with one, 30-minute meal period that begins no later than the end of the fifth hour of work; a second 30-minute meal period must be provided if an employee works more than ten hours per day, exceptions may apply. Employees must be relieved of all duty during meal periods, except where state law dictates otherwise.
If an employer fails to provide an employee with a meal period in accordance with applicable law including length of the meal period, the employer must pay one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that the meal period is not provided.
Employers using a time tracking system should ensure they are not rounding employees’ time reported for meal periods and also consider doing the same for any break period rounding of hours.
We provide California businesses with summaries of some of the most critical legislation to ensure they stay in compliance while working to serve their communities. Please contact our team at 626.356.8880 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding state-specific guidance or application to your workplace.