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Timekeeping Tips in Honor of Daylight Saving Time

by Jennifer Shaw and Melissa Whitehead | | March 11, 2024

For reasons that we will never quite understand, daylight saving time is once again upon us. In the spirit of mourning the hour all lost this weekend, here are our top 10 timekeeping tips for employers:

  1. Non-exempt employees must be paid for every minute they work. California law has no “de minimis” exception.
  2. Do not round employees’ work time for payroll purposes. The California Supreme Court will soon decide once and for all whether employers are permitted to use neutral time-rounding practices, but regardless of that decision, it is a practice fraught with risk.
  3. Ensure that non-exempt employees’ time records reflect their actual hours worked. Timecards should not be estimated, rounded, or completed based on scheduled hours. If an employee starts work at 8:03, then the time card should show “8:03” as the start time (unless you round the time, which we do not recommend).
  4. Non-exempt employees should clock in and out for meal periods – but not for rest periods.
  5. Employers should require employees to verify the accuracy of their time entries every pay period.
  6. Employers should only adjust an employee’s time records if there is a software failure or an employee forgot to enter their own time. All such adjustments should be verified in writing by the employee.
  7. The rules for telework are the same as in-office work – non-exempt employees must clock in when they start to work and clock out when they stop working.
  8. Non-exempt employees must not work “off the clock.” What do you do with the employee who insists on checking and responding to emails after hours? Pay them, and address the issue through performance management.
  9. Do not allow employees to falsify their timecards. Ever.
  10. Require non-exempt employees to enter their time daily, and discipline those who refuse to do so.

In unrelated news, and as a bonus for those of you who have read this far:

The CDC has modified its COVID isolation recommendations for the first time since 2020.  They now align with CDC guidance addressing how to avoid transmitting flu and RSV. So, positive COVID-19 cases no longer need to isolate for five days. You’re welcome.

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