SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit declared that a petitioner seeking overtime pay and damages under
the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act was misguided in his claims that
the time clock rounding system cheated him of his pay.
filed a lawsuit against his employer, Time Warner
Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership, claiming that he was shortchanged
by the company when it applied the time clock rounding practice. Upon the dismissal
of the case by the district court, the petitioner submitted the matter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In its ruling,
which was written by Judge Jay Scott Bybee, the appellate court
reiterated the earlier decision and also dismissed the claims of Corbin.
argument, if accepted, would undercut the purpose and would gut the
effectiveness of a rounding policy. In fact, Corbin’s preferred interpretation
would require employers to engage in the very mathematical calculations that
the federal rounding regulation serves to avoid,” wrote Bybee in the
explained, “Mandating that every employee must gain or break even over every
pay period misreads the text of the federal rounding regulation and vitiates
the purpose and effectiveness of using rounding as a timekeeping method.”
do not compensate their workers based on their exact number of hours or minutes.
Instead, they implement the “rounding” or “round off” practice. Under this
system, a particular interval would be set to serve as the minimum time. This would
be the recognized as the unit of time worked or not worked by the employees. The
time worked or missed within the said interval would not be added to or
deducted from the official hours of the employee. Meanwhile, the time worked or
missed outside the interval would be added to or deducted from the recorded
complaint, Corbin stated that he lost $15.02 and one minute due to the
defendant’s time clock rounding compensation policy. In the case of Time Warner,
the company rounded the time stamps of its employees to the nearest quarter
hour. According to his statements, the plaintiff reached a total of $15.02 on
lost wages. As for the one minute, he categorized this as uncompensated time.
Corbin shared that he had once mistakenly logged in an auxiliary computer
program instead of the timekeeping software platform of the company. As a
result, he lost a minute from his total work hours. With these circumstances in
mind, Corbin asserted that he was entitled to relief under the provisions of
the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. In addition to this, he sought the same
from state employment law of California as well.
Circuit court rejected Corbin’s claim that his company failed to compensate him
for the extra minute he logged in during one of his work days. He alleged that
the use of the rounding system deprived him of the overtime pay he should have
received for overtime. Upon review of the company’s system, the court found
that the policy benefited both the employer and its employees equally. That is,
the time clock rounding system of the defendants was fair and neutral to all