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Can an employer adjust employees timecards to the employer's benefit under CA state employment laws

San Diego, CA |

what can we do when our employer changes our timecard punches because either most of us punches more than 5 minutes before our clock in and more than 5 minutes after our work schedule

My California employer has two payroll systems. One the employee fills out electronically, then it is transfered by a clerk to the main payroll system which generates the actual payroll checks. What is occuring is that what the employee is entering in the initial system is not what is entered into the secondary system. basically the clerk is "making adjustements" (in the company's favor) when entering the time into the secondary system, without notifiying the employee who would never know unless they checked their paycheck against their payrioll enteries which is a difficult task at best.

Attorney Answers 2


This is a rather complicated issue for an open forum. A lawyer would need to have a longer conversation with you about the facts of your particular situation. You should consult an attorney experienced in wage-hour and class action issues.

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While all situations may be different, I will not be as reluctant to answer this question as the others who have answered it. I can think of very few, if any situations that would justify an employer altering a time card, under California law. An employer is required to maintain time records for non-exempt employees. Time records should be accurate. If an employee is making errors, this should be corrected by employee counseling or discipline, documenting errors. If an employee is falsifying a time record, any discipline, including fire, is more than reasonable. Otherwise, an employer who alters time cards to its benefit is creating a practice that would subject it to liability for unpaid wages. You are entitled to pay for all hours worked. The only exception to this rule is known as "rounding." An employer may round out minor pluses and minuses. People are more likely to clock in at 8:59 or 9:01 than precisely at 9 a.m. An employer may treat that logically by rounding up or down. However, an employer may not engage in a rounding scheme that always works to its benefit. Rounding is limited to 5 minutes ore 1/10th of an hour. Otherwise, it sounds like you might be owed some wages.

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