What is Time Clock Punch Rounding

What is Time Clock Punch Rounding

Time Clock Punch Rounding is the process of rounding the time clock punches to make payroll calculations simpler or to give the employees a grace period when starting or ending work. Punch rounding can be a benefit to the employees giving them a leeway but sometimes employees try to game the system to take advantage of the employer.

Here are some situations

  • Your employees arrive at work early and punch in before their shift start time. They spend the time drinking coffee and talking to each other waiting for the shift to begin. Or they punch out after sitting around talking with other employees after their shift ends.
  • You have several employees that need to punch in and/or out at the same time. This may take more than a minute for all of them to punch in/out for the day. So some of them end up punching in/out late.

The situation is that once the employee punches in, that time is considered work time. This means that legally you have to pay them for that time. So what would the solution for these situations be?

Punch Rounding

Punch Rounding may be your solution for these situations. Federal Law allows punch rounding as long as it is consistent and fair for both employer and employee.

Federal Law imposes restrictions on rounding an employee’s time. Rounding is allowed only if the following criteria are met:

  • The rounding must work both in the employer’s favor and the employee’s favor. You can’t decide to only round when it works out to the employers benefit.
  • You cannot round in increments greater than 15 minutes.
  • The rounding must be applied in such a way as the employee is still fully paid for all hours actually worked. If your employees are clocking in 10 minutes before their scheduled start timeand actually starting work early, you cannot round away that work time, even though it occurred prior to the scheduled shift start time.

NOTE: You should check with your attorney to see if your state may have additional rules regarding rounding. If there is a difference between Federal and State law then the law that favors the employee is the one that rules.

The most standard amounts of rounding are the following.

Quarter hour rounding (15 minutes): This is sometimes called the 7/8 rule. The 15 minutes is split so it is 7 ½ minutes before the quarter hour to 7 ½ minutes after the quarter hour and all the punches are on 15 minute increments. So if an employee punches in between 7:53 and 8:07 it will record the punch as 8:00. If they punch in at 8:08 then it is rounded to 8:15.

Rounding by the 1/10 of an hour (6 minute):  The 1/10 of an hour is six minutes. The 6 minutes are split so it is 3 minutes before the 1/10 of an hour to 3 minutes after the 1/10 hour, so all the punches are on 6 minute increments. So if an employee punches in between 7:57 and 8:03 it will record the punch as 8:00. If they punch in at 8:04 then it is rounded to 8:06.

Rounding by 5 minutes: The 5 minutes is split so it is 2 ½ minutes before the 5 minute increment to 2 ½ minutes after the 5 minute increment, and the punches are all on 5 minute increments. So if an employee punches in between 7:58 and 8:02 it will record the punch as 8:00. If they punch in at 8:03 then it is rounded to 8:05.

 

Ninth Circuit Roundly Supports Time Punch Rounding  is an interesting article by Seyfarth Shaw LLP. The plaintiff was from California and was trying to get his company to pay him an extra $15.02 for 1 minute. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled in the employer’s favor and supported Punch Rounding. You can read the whole article by clicking on the link above.

 

How does the OnTheClock.com  Time Clock help with Punch Rounding

OnTheClock_Time_Clock

OnTheClock.com does have a Punch Rounding option. The administrator can find this on the Time Clock Settings page, Basic Settings tab.

 Ontheclock_Time_Clock_Rounding Setting

OnTheClock.com options for punch rounding are as follows:

  • 0 – This is no punch rounding so all times are actual times the employee clocks in.
  • 6 – This would be rounding by the 1/10 hour or 6 minute increment rounding, 3 minutes before and 3 minutes after each 6 minute increments.
  • 15 – This option is the Quarter Hour rounding, 7 ½ minutes before and 7 ½ minutes after each Quarter of an hour.

 

The following are examples and the examples are in this format.     Hour: Minutes: Seconds       7:56:59

0 punch rounding gives exact clock in and out times.

 6 minute Punch Rounding works like this:

  1. Employee punches in at 7:57:00 thru 8:03:00 it rounds it to 8:00
  2. Employee punches in at 7:56:59 it rounds to 7:54
  3. Employee punches in at 8:03:01 it rounds to 8:06
  4. All Punches are on 6 minute increments.

 15 minute punch rounding works like this:

  1. Employee punches in at 7:52:30 thru 8:07.30 it rounds to 8:00
  2. Employee punches in punches in at 7:52:29 it rounds to 7:45
  3. Employee punches in at 8:07:31 it rounds to 8:15
  4. All Punches are on 15 minute increments.

 

If you find this interesting and are looking for an Online Time Clock, you can sign up for a Free 30 Day Trial at this link:  

Time Clock Punch Rounding Chart

Minute
Mark
6 Minute
Rounding
15 Minute
Rounding
0 0 0
1 0 0
2 0 0
3 6 0
4 6 0
5 6 0
6 6 0
7 6 0
8 6 15
9 12 15
10 12 15
11 12 15
12 12 15
13 12 15
14 12 15
15 18 15
16 18 15
17 18 15
18 18 15
19 18 15
20 18 15
21 24 15
22 24 15
23 24 30
24 24 30
25 24 30
26 24 30
27 30 30
28 30 30
29 30 30
30 30 30
31 30 30
32 30 30
33 36 30
34 36 30
35 36 30
36 36 30
37 36 30
38 36 45
39 42 45
40 42 45
41 42 45
42 42 45
43 42 45
44 42 45
45 48 45
46 48 45
47 48 45
48 48 45
49 48 45
50 48 45
51 54 45
52 54 45
53 54 60
54 54 60
55 54 60
56 54 60
57 60 60
58 60 60
59 60 60

Try OnTheClock.com for Free  

References:

US DOL (FLSA)

https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs53.htm

https://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FLSANA/2008/2008_05_15_07NA_FLSA.pdf

 

Seyfarth Shaw

https://www.wagehourlitigation.com/defenses/ninth-circuit-supports-rounding/

 

a thought From Lisa Grubb on 8/28/2019 ...
My employer defaults my time card 15 minutes before my shift and 15 minutes at the end of my shift 8 to 5. If I work to 6:20pm can they default my time to 5:00
reply from OTC - Hi Lisa, thank you for reaching out. The Department of Labor states that employees must be paid for the time in which they work. We hope this helps answer your question.
a thought From David on 8/14/2019 ...
I am a salaried, exempt, employee at a business that uses rounding to round to the nearest quarter hour. My employer has everyone clock in and out, regardless of whether they are salaried, exempt, or not. I also keep a written record of my actual IN and OUT punches, so I know when my true hours are above or below the hours I need for the pay period. My situation arises where my total hours, based on my actual punches, is exactly what I am required to have, but the recorded hours are less than required because of rounding. My employer will use some of my personal or vacation time raise my recorded hours up to the required hours, even though my true hours are exactly what they need to be. My question is, can they use my saved up personal or vacation time to artificially make my recorded hours match the true hours?
reply from OTC - Hi David, thanks for the question. This is something that we cannot answer to the fullest. Each employer has their own punch rounding policies. We would recommend putting in the time in which you are required to prevent this from happening - this includes assuring that your time will be rounded to the nearest quarter of an hour as you previously mentioned. Typically employers will use the 7th minute to determine the rounding. For example, if you punch out at 4:07, then your employer may round that down to 4:00. But if you were to punch out at 4:08, then your employer may punch round to 4:15 pm. This is just an example so we highly recommend that you speak with your HR or management department to gather specifics regarding how they determine punch rounding. We hope this helps.
a thought From Fran on 8/1/2019 ...
If my scheduled shift starts at 6:30 and I clock in at 6:30 and 5seconds. Does that make me late?
reply from OTC - Hi Fran, thank you for the question. If your shift starts at 6:30 then you should punch in no later than 6:30. We hope this helps.
a thought From Jula on 7/24/2019 ...
If i punch in 6:05 what time i punch out to get my 8 hours
reply from OTC - Hello Jula, this is a little difficult for us to know since we do not know whether or not breaks are deducted from your shift. However, if you worked a paid straight 8 hour shift, then this would put your 8 hours at 2:05. We hope this helps.
a thought From Jamie on 5/25/2019 ...
I punch out at 4:44pm and have a hour lunch what time I come back
reply from OTC - Hi Jamie, If you punch out at 4:44 pm and you receive 1 hour for a lunch break (60 minutes), then you would need to punch back in at 5:44 pm. Thanks for contacting us.
a thought From Melissa on 5/15/2019 ...
We use a 15 minute punch clock. We have always been told to round punches to the nearest 15, example: clocked in 735-1025 rounds to 730-1030, then 1228-328 rounds to 1230-330, for a total of 6 hours. My new payroll manager instead took the total minutes rather than punch rounding and added up my total time of 5h50minutes and rounded it down to 5h45minutes. My question is, if we are suppose to do 15 minutes punch rounding, doesn't that mean each punch in and out is rounded to the nearest 15minutes. Or can they instead total all minutes and round that instead? This is a new change and a few of us are noticing missing hours on our checks due to this new calculation method of rounding total minutes to the nearest 15 rather than the 15 minute punch we have always done. Thanks!!
reply from OTC - Hi Melissa, Many employers use punch rounding to simplify payroll by rounding hours to the nearest 15 minutes. The Department of Labor allows employers to round up or round down, however, it should generally favor the employee - see link below. Based on the example, it does appear that your manager is operating within the DOL guidelines, rounding down from 5h50minutes to 5h45minutes.

With that said, our first question would be, how is your punch clock displaying hours? Actual hours worked or 15-minute increments? Many times this can be resolved by discussing your concerns with your manager and asking for clarification.

Here is a link to the DOL that helps to explain these rules.

https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs53.htm

We hope this helps

~The OTC Team
a thought From MAYRA GARCIA on 5/9/2019 ...
I punch out at 12:51 and I have 30 minute lunch what time should I get back?
reply from OTC - Hi Mayra, if you are punching out at 12:51 for a 30 minute lunch break then you would need to punch back in by 1:21. We hope this helps.
a thought From Jacqueline smalley on 4/6/2019 ...
If I Punch at 3 o'clock and I have 1 hour for lunch what time should I get back?
reply from OTC - Hi Jacqueline, We would recommend that you come back to work 1 hour after the time you punch out for lunch.
a thought From Terrie on 1/2/2019 ...
If I work 91/2 hours today what time do I clock out
reply from OTC - Hi Terrie, this would depend on what time you clocked in. Check out our Free Time Calculator: https://www.ontheclock.com/Free-Online-Time-Card-Calculator.aspx

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