Exact Times Recorded for Unpaid Meal Breaks

Virtual TimeClock Support Blog

Exact Times Recorded for Unpaid Meal Breaks

March 6, 2024

Historically, rounding employee time punches has been a common practice. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the United States has permitted employers to impartially round employee punches to the nearest 5 minutes, one-tenth of an hour (6 minutes), or quarter hour (15 minutes).

However, the California Supreme Court recently ruled that California employers may not use time rounding to satisfy state-mandated rest periods. Instead, precise times must be used to ensure that employees are given their full meal breaks. We anticipate other States will review this ruling and adopt similar policies.

Time Rounding in Virtual TimeClock
Virtual TimeClock can be configured to allow quarter-hour or tenth-hour rounding for employees' start and stop punches. To satisfy the new California requirements ensuring unpaid rest periods, Virtual TimeClock 23 now displays actual unpaid break time even if rounding is on for payroll calculations. This change does not impact payroll rounding while helping employers ensure that employee meal periods comply with company and/or state-mandated meal period policies.

We have a Knowledge Base article on time rounding that provides details on configuring your time clock for rounding time.  For more information about what enhancements and updates are available in our newest release see our release notes for Virtual TimeClock 23.

The information in this blog is provided as a courtesy and is not meant to be used as specific legal advice. Consult your legal and payroll professionals to determine time-rounding laws that apply to your business.