Wage theft is a major issue for workers in New York and across the United States. Those who earn an hourly wage are among those most affected by the bad payroll practices of some employers. Many companies deprive hourly employees of billions of dollars in income every year by engaging in illegal payroll practices.
There are many different forms of wage theft, all of which seek to reduce how much a company pays its employees by thwarting their federal fair wage protections. For example, timeclock rounding involves a company paying workers in specific increments other than individual minutes. They might pay workers in five, 10 or even 15-minute intervals. They will then round the time clock records to the nearest interval when processing payroll for a specific workweek.
Is time clock rounding an illegal practice?
Timeclock rounding is legal but easily abused. Technically, there is nothing inherently illegal about having employees work specific increments of time. However, companies must be neutral and fair when deciding whether to round up or round down.
If companies consistently round down even when the worker had more than half of an increment accrued on their payroll records, then the company may have violated the rights of that worker. When the goal is to deny people time worked from every shift, timeclock rounding is a form of wage fact. Only when companies are truly neutral in their application of the rounding rules can they claim that their practices are legal and not a violation of fair wage rights.
Wage claims can quickly become complicated matters
Trying to perform an in-depth review of someone’s timeclock and payroll records can be a challenge, especially if there are multiple employees interested in pursuing a claim. Additionally, workers may struggle to present their cases to their employers in a manner that the organization will take seriously.
Those who are struggling with circumstances that likely amount to wage theft will likely benefit from consulting with an attorney and having professional legal assistance during negotiations with the company or any litigation that follows. Pursuing a New York wage claim based on timeclock rounding practices can help to compensate those who have not been fully paid for work that they have already performed.