In the article “California Employers Should Review Time-Keeping Practices for Meal Breaks,” the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported on a recent ruling from California’s high court that determined that California employers are prohibited from rounding time-clock punches for employee meal periods. The publication turned to labor and employment partner Mark Terman to share what the ruling means for California employers.
Terman explained, “The California Supreme Court declared that compliance with the 30-minute meal period requirement must be based on precise actual time with no rounding permitted.”
He also highlighted that because “records showing noncompliant meal periods raise a rebuttable presumption of meal period violations,” employers should be prepared to prove that they provide full meal breaks, give employees a mechanism for recording their meal periods, and ensure that employees are using that mechanism properly.
The article suggests that California employers may want to eliminate rounding practices. Terman noted that rounding practices are already targeted in wage and hour class actions in California. “This ruling accelerates the risk of claims, such as missed meal period premiums, for employers who do not pay to the time-punch minute and provide at least a 30-minute, duty-free and uninterrupted meal period,” he said.