If your employer uses an automatic timekeeping system to track your work time, the employer may not be capturing all of the hours that you work. Many automatic timekeeping systems will apply uncompensated meal and break periods regardless of whether the employee actually took the break. Or, timekeeping systems may not capture employees’ time when they work before and after their shift, either performing their recurring job duties or preparatory and concluding activities such as logging on, walking to their station, and/or pre and post-shift meetings.
Also commonplace is the practice of rounding. Under the right circumstances, employers may be able to round employees’ time. However, that policy must be balanced so as not to favor the employer. For example, if the employer’s policy is not to allow compensable time to begin until the start of the shift, but the employer rounds the clock in time to six or more minutes (meaning the employee clocks in at 12:01, but doesn’t get paid until 12:06 or later), such a policy is prohibited.
If you have questions as to your employer’s timekeeping practices, please consult a wage and hour attorney for help in determining whether your employer may have violated state and/or federal law in not paying you properly.