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Is it legal for Florida employers to round someone’s time worked?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Wage & Hour Laws |

Workers compensated on a salary basis generally receive the same pay regardless of how much they work. Hourly workers, on the other hand, may have drastically different checks from week to week depending on how many hours they put in on the job.

It is therefore very important for hourly workers to clock in and out reliably and compare their time clock records with the paychecks that they receive. Some companies engage in seemingly questionable practices when calculating how much to pay a worker for a given pay period.

For example, some businesses round time clock records to a specific increment of time. They may pay workers for every five minutes they work or even every 15 minutes that they are on the clock. Is it legal for businesses to round how long someone has been on the job in Florida?

The law does not prohibit time clock rounding

Although it may seem like a wage and hour violation, time clock rounding is not innately illegal. Both Florida state law and federal wage and hour statutes allow for time clock rounding. Employers must disclose their rounding practices to employees and must be neutral regarding when they round up or round down. If a company consistently rounds worker time down and does not round worker time up, then time clock rounding may constitute a violation of someone’s wage and our rights.

However, when companies are neutral in the implementation of a time clock rounding policy, the practice is potentially legal. Under the de minimus rule, companies can justify not paying workers for inconsequential amounts of time, such as the two or three minutes they might lose if the payroll department rounds down how long they were at work during a particular shift.

It can be very difficult for the average worker to determine if the company practices payroll rounding in a neutral and appropriate manner or if the company simply wants to reduce what it has to pay its employees. Employees may need to maintain their own time clock records and start evaluating their paychecks carefully to determine if a wage and hour violation may have occurred.

Learning more about the laws that govern the compensation for hourly workers can help people recognize company practices that may violate their rights. Seeking legal guidance can help wronged workers to better understand their rights and options under the law.