Skip to main content

Can an employer round if the system used always favors them?

Seattle, WA |

Let's say that I'm scheduled from 3:00 to 11:05. My employer tells me that he rounds to the 15 minute mark, so 11:07 and below is 11:00 and 11:08 and above is 11:15. This would seem fair, but if I'm always scheduled until 11:05, then the rounding system will always short change me.

Attorney Answers 2


Are you really scheduled to the minute? If they are scheduling you to 11:05 in an effort to evade paying you for those 5 minutes, then you may have a wage an hour claim against your employer. They certainly should be consistent. Are they consistent with that when you start as well? I would contact an attorney and give them all the facts of your case. They can evaluate your claims. Good luck!

If my answer helped you, please click on "best answer" or "helpful." I have been in practice in Washington State since 2002. Any information shared is for educational purposes only and is based on my knowledge on Washington State law. Other state's laws may differ. These answers do not create an attorney-client relationship: only a fee agreement between the parties creates an attorney-client relationship. Nothing contained in any of my answers should be construed as legal advice. Seek out an attorney in your state for formal legal advice.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful




No, my employer isn't doing this specific thing, though something like it. I'm in talks with a lawyer over many different complaints regarding my employer and one dealt with rounding. This was an example she gave as something that was legal, even if unethical, so I wanted to get other opinions because that surprised me.

Rachel Elizabeth Scott

Rachel Elizabeth Scott


Rounding is legal so long as it is consistent. If they round up when you arrive and round down when you leave, that would be illegal. I am not sure about the increments, however. You should talk to your current attorney about these issues.


WA follows the Dept. of Labor rounding rules with an exception. First the DOL rounding rules require that if an employer uses rounding rules, the application of those rules should even out to neither favor the employer or the employer. If your employer is only applying the rounding rule to benefit his business then he is technically violating the DOL rounding rules and if he is audited--base on an employee complaint--he will likely be found in violation. If you think that there is evidence to support your claim that you never benefit from the application of the rounding rule then you should file a wage claim either with the WA labor department or find an attorney here on Avvo using the find an attorney tab. You may also wish to contact my colleague that has already answered your question. The exception to the rounding rule that WA applies relates to rounding lunch periods. Non agricultural employees cannot have their ½ hour duty free lunch rounded down, e.g., if they break for lunch at 12:04 they cannot be required to return from lunch until 12:34--no rounding. Find an attorney to help you here on the Find an Attorney Tab.
Best of luck!

NO LEGAL ADVICE GIVEN. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship set forth in a written document executed by the client and by me or a member of my firm. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. My law firm does NOT provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your case. I can give advice, make recommendations and answer specific questions only after reviewing the evidence and documents applicable to a specific client and following a personal meeting in my office in which the relevant facts can be developed and analyzed. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal administrative law; professional licenses and permits; education law; employment and labor law; and litigation matters in state and federal courts. Our practice is limited to the States of Oregon and California. If you have a case in any other state we would not be able to assist you. Unless we have a signed written fee agreement you are not my or my firm's client.

Mark as helpful

Business topics

Recommended articles about Business

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics