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Your Legal Corner - Client Alert Blog

California Employers Can Continue Rounding an Employee's Time Card to the Nearest 15 Minute Increment

Written By: Melissa C. Marsh, Esq., California Attorney, June 2016 Add to Favorites

On May 2, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Corbin v. Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership held that both California law and Federal law permit an employer to round an employees' time card to the nearest 15 minutes (or smaller increment) so long as the employer rounds both up and down. The rounding policy must be neutral and not designed to benefit only the employer.

In Corbin, the plaintiff claimed Time Warner failed to pay him "$15.02 and one minute." The "$15.02" claimed by the plaintiff represented alleged wages lost over a period of time as a result of Time Warner's neutral time-card rounding policy. The "one minute" represented the amount of off-the-clock time the plaintiff claimed he worked but was not paid for. First, the court dispelled of the plaintiff's request for 1 minute of off-the-clock time holding that the one minute of unpaid time was de minimis and, therefore, not compensable. Then, following the California Court of Appeal's decision in See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, the Court held that both federal and California law permit employers to round employees' time cards to the nearest 15 minutes (or smaller increment of time) so long as the employer's rounding policy is neutral in its application (works in both the employer's favor when rounding down and the employee's favor when rounding up).

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Corbin reaffirms that California employers may continue to round an employee's time card to the nearest 15 minute increment (or lesser time increment) so long as the employer applies the practice in a neutral manner— both up and down.


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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.