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Looking at Timecard before clocking in from break/lunch

Should an employee be paid for the time he takes to log into a timekeeping system to look at his timecard before he clocks back in from a break or lunch?

*The reason he would need to look at his timecard before he clocks in is to make sure he has taken at least 10 minutes for his break or at least 30 minutes for his lunch.

I can't seem to find what I am looking for. Any direction would be welcomed!

Comments

  • Does he not have a watch?!
  • How long does it take him to look? I had that before but it took about 15 seconds to pull you record up on the Kronos timeclock and see when you punched out.
  • He can purchase a cheap stop watch for about 1-5 dollars at Walmart and just set it to 10 or 30 minutes.

    When it beeps it is time to punch the clock and go back to work.

    He can look at a watch or clock and understand that when 10 or 30 minutes go by it is time to punch.

    I'm not sure I understand why this would be a challenge and wheter this is a one person every so often or everyone in the company all the time.
  • It's actually a whole office. Yes I believe all of them have a watch or at least a cell phone to tell time. They also have clocks on their computers and office phones. But they still punch in 1-5 minutes early.

    Kbrood wrote:
    How long does it take him to look? I had that before but it took about 15 seconds to pull you record up on the Kronos timeclock and see when you punched out.

    And yes we use Kronos so that's exactly how long it takes them to look at their timecards. One of my HR Managers is saying that we shouldn't remind them to look at their timecard before they punch in because that could be considered time worked. I don't agree with this. The whole reason we set everyone up on the Kronos Quick timestamp was so they could look at their timecard to make sure they weren't taking less than 10 minutes for breaks and less than 30 minutes for lunch.
  • One of my HR Managers is saying that we shouldn't remind them to look at their timecard before they punch in because that could be considered time worked. I don't agree with this. The whole reason we set everyone up on the Kronos Quick timestamp was so they could look at their timecard to make sure they weren't taking less than 10 minutes for breaks and less than 30 minutes for lunch.

    Well, it does not matter why the employee works, if the employee works, the employee must be paid - so the question is whether looking at the time clock on the computer is "time worked" or a "principal activity". It seems to me that so long as you don't require them to check the time clock several times during the break just to make sure they don't go over on the break, this is not much different from asking them to check the company clock on the wall or the employees moving toward the time clock at about the end of the break.

    Also, the time clock does not show that time clocked was time worked - all it will do in your case is document that time there was adequate time off the clock to substantiate that the employee got the required break and meal time. That is, the clock is not really proof as to whether and how long the employee was completely relieved of duty. And, I would think that worrying about clocking in at exactly the right time might be more constraining with respect to being relieved of duty than being a tad early or late on punching the clock.
  • As you know California law is two 10 minute breaks for every eight hours worked. Our company policy is two 15 minute breaks for every eight hours worked. We only ask them to make sure their breaks are between 10 minutes and 15 minutes. Anything less than 10 minutes is not okay. So if I came back from a break and I can't remember what time I clocked out at, I would take 10 seconds to look at my timecard to see. As long as it's been 10 minutes since I clocked out, I have two choices. I can clock in and start working or I can relax and wait the couple of minutes left on my 15 minute break.

    For lunch all employees have to take a 30 minute lunch. They do have a five minute grace period. We have no problem if they take a 31-35 minute lunch. Anything less than 30 minutes is not okay per California Labor Law. I am coming back from my lunch and I can't remember when I clocked out. I take 10 seconds to check. I see how long I have been out and clock back in accordingly.

    In these two cases would the time they used to look at their timecard be considered "time worked"?
  • I take it the breaks are paid breaks. I don't see that as working and it is probably not a principal work activity. I guess the issue would be whether CA would consider it working. If CA does, then that would create a situation where simply checking to see if it was time to go to work before it was time to go to work would be a violation on the part of the employer. I don't see it being an issue, particularly with the 5 minute grace period.
  • I agree, especially as they are paid breaks, so they're already getting paid for the time anyway.
  • Yes our employees get paid for taking their breaks. The only time they wouldn't get paid is if they go over their 15 minutes.

    Thank you both very much for your imput. It is greatly appreciated.
  • Danay wrote:
    Yes our employees get paid for taking their breaks. The only time they wouldn't get paid is if they go over their 15 minutes.


    Where do you get the justification for that? Unless it's a bona fide meal break, which at the very least is 20 minutes, the time must be paid.
  • Where do you get the justification for that? Unless it's a bona fide meal break, which at the very least is 20 minutes, the time must be paid.
    Apparently from the fact sheet for which David provided a link:
    Federal law does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks as compensable work hours that would be included in the sum of hours worked during the work week and considered in determining if overtime was worked. Unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks need not be counted as hours worked when the employer has expressly and unambiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a specific length of time, that any extension of the break is contrary to the employer's rules, and any extension of the break will be punished.
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