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Employment Law/Time - how can we make deductions from pay


I came in this morning to find this email from Finance:

we must immediately change our payroll to reflect payment for every minute shown on the time clock.  California law, and apparently a new attitude from the Department of Labor, mandate this.  So, whatever time they clock in works, whatever time they leave works, and the only thing that doesn't is the lunch period (standard) and if they take more time than they should, that comes off the amount.  We need to institute this immediatelyour time clocks will allow this.

I want to limit overtime, and these minutes will add up.  Management either has to stop them from clocking in early (without directing them to the lunchroom - this only works if they are not allowed into the building), or get them out early.

California is really strict about paying employees for all the time they have worked. The U.S. Department of labor does allow rounding to the nearest 15 minutes.
I belive in California employers round to the nearest 10 minutes.

Here is a page from the U.S. Department of Labor with instructions for rounding of time:

Here is an article on the California court ruling on the 10 minute rounding rule:

It appears that in the courts in California in the See's candy case rounding has been okayed for the nearest 10 minutes as long as it is fair to the employee. In other words it must be rounded up and down equally as worked. If it causes overtime than that must be paid.

What you can do is run reports from your timekeeping system and if someone is going into an overtime position for the week have them come in later in the day , leave early or take a longer lunch to keep the time from going into overtime. This is legal to do as the employer sets the schedule for the employee.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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