Is it legal for my employer to round my work hours?

Brad Nakase, Attorney

Email Brad

LAW ON ROUNDING WORK HOURS AND KEEPING TIME IN CA Wages is defined as payment in exchange for labor.[1] Labor is defined to include, “labor, work, or service whether rendered or performed under contract … or other agreement if the labor to be paid for is performed personally by the person demanding payment.”[2] Basically, labor includes any work performed for the benefit of an employer. However, sometimes employers round employees’ wages in order to make the final amount easier to calculate. When this happens, there are certain requirements the employer must meet in order to protect the employee for his or her time worked.

Rounding hours

Employers must pay their employees for hours worked including any overtime. However, California law allows employers to round hours worked as long as it is:

  • Fair and neutral
  • does not under-compensate employee overtime.[3][4]

Fair and neutral

Fair and neutral is defined as one that neither over nor underpays the employee for hours worked.[5] Further, employers must have a way of rounding payments already in place; they cannot just create a program on the spot or for a one-time period because it looks as if they are trying to underpay their employees.[6] California has found that rounding to the nearest tenth is acceptable.[7] All payments must be accompanied by a paystub or receipt in order for the employee to have record and see how he or she was paid.[8]

Grace periods

Grace periods include times when the employee clocks in early or clocks out late even though no work occurs. Courts have allowed grace periods of ten minutes (clocking ten minutes before or clocking out ten minutes after a shift) as long as no work is being done during this time.[9] If work is done during this period, then the employee is entitled to his or her hourly wages.[10]

What to do if a violation occurs:

Employees have a few options if they have been underpaid. First, is to resolve the dispute with the employer usually privately or with human resources. Second, the employee may file a suit in court. Lastly, the employee can bring a suit for unpaid wages with a governmental agency.[11] Employee can file under state or federal law depending on the specific case. It is also a great idea to speak with an attorney before choosing your best option for the maximum amount of relief/success in your case.

Call or Write for a Free Confidential Consultation

If you or someone you love need an aggressive and compassionate attorney who will listen and aggressively protect your interest, we invite you to call attorney Brad for a free consultation.

I’d like to hear your story. What happened?

$0 Upfront

There is no money upfront to hire me.

$0 Unless We Win

No Fee – Unless We Win

$13,000,000.00+ Won for Clients

I’ve won $13 million dollars for my clients.

98% Success Rate

I’ve won 98% of my clients’ cases.

Insurance Insider

I’ve worked at a major national law firm serving big name insurance companies by defending insurance companies and their insureds who were sued for millions of dollars.

I Care

My success is measured in the real differences made to my clients’ quality of life. I focus on achieving the most exceptional and fairest compensation for my clients.


Car Accident Lawyer

I have served hundreds of injured persons. Also, I have worked at a national law firm hired by big-name insurance companies to defend big businesses against high stakes lawsuits stemming from car accidents. I know all the tricks the insurance companies use to minimize money payment to injured persons.  Learn More

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

I own and ride a Honda CBR500. I understand the unique challenges of being a rider in an ocean of cars. A motorcycle accident can occur anywhere and at an instant which may result in life-changing injuries. As a rider, I have a unique insight to protect your interest and ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

Trucking Accident Lawyer and Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer

I’ve helped major insurance companies defending truckers in severe injury cases which include traumatic brain injuries. I have a unique insight into how big insurance companies defend trucking accidents. I will fight hard to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

Uber Accidents Lawyer

I have worked at a major national law firm hired by the insurance company to defend Uber drivers. I’ve defended Uber drivers in severe injuries cases and know how insurance companies defend injury cases.

Taxi Accident Lawyer

I have worked at a major national law firm hired by the insurance company to defend taxi drivers; I’ve defended taxi drivers sued in serious injuries cases and know how insurance companies defend injury cases.

Trip and Fall Injury Lawyer

Trip and fall cases are challenging because of the complexity of the issues involved. To establish liability, trip and fall cases may require safety engineers, structural engineers, or any other experts qualified to testify regarding the standard of care in the specific situation and whether it was breached.

Legal Reference

[1] Cal Labor Code § 200

[2] Labor Code § 200

[3] Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC, 29 Cal. App. 5th 1068

[4] Labor Code §§ 204, 510

[5] Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC, 29 Cal. App. 5th 1068

[6] Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, 210 Cal. App. 4th., 889, 893.

[7] Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, 210 Cal. App. 4th. 899.

[8] Cal Labor Code § 204(b)(2)

[9] Silva v. See’s Candy Shops, Inc., 7 Cal. App. 5th 235, 237

[10] Labor Code § 204

[11] Post v. Palo/Haklar & Associates (2000) 23 Cal.4th 942, 946

© Copyright | Nakase Law Firm (2019)