If your employer has engaged in time shaving practices, you might be entitled to compensation. Time shaving occurs when employers shave time off of an employee’s timekeeping records to pay them less than they deserve. For example, if an employee worked 9 hours, an employer could shave off ten minutes of work time and indicate that the employee only worked 8 hours and 50 minutes.
The practice of time shaving is far too common in many New York City industries, particularly in service industries. Employers have wrongfully manipulated physical time cards as well as electronic payroll records to unfairly pay their employees less. Employees who’ve received inadequate payment due to employer time shaving may have a claim to compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
New York City Time Shaving Attorneys
If you are a New York City employee who is concerned about your employer engaging in time shaving practices, the experienced employment attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP can help. We are familiar with all of the ways employers attempt to wrongfully manipulate the payroll records of employees to pay them less. If your employer engaged in illegal time shaving, you might be entitled to damages. Contact our New York City employment law office today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Time Shaving By Falsely Changing Employee Time Cards
If a manager or business owner relies on physical time cards or punch-cards, he or she may conspire with payroll clerk or human resources department to manipulate payroll records. Clerks could physically alter the correct amount of time worked to a lower amount of time worked. Alternatively, employers could enter a different time amount in their payroll software than the time provided by the employee.
Today, many employers rely on computerized timekeeping methods. Nonetheless, some employers still engage in electronic time shaving by altering employee time records within their digital payroll system.
Time Shaving By Rounding Time
The practice of rounding can become another form of unlawful time shaving. Rounding occurs when an employer rounds the employee’s time clocking in and clocking out down to the nearest fifteen-minute or half-hour interval. For example, if an employee clocked in at 8:55 a.m., an employer’s timekeeping software might round up to the nearest half-hour and indicate that he or she clocked in at 9:00 a.m.
The United States Department of Labor Wages and Hour Division prohibits rounding in certain circumstances. Employers may legally engage in rounding so long as the following does the following:
- Rounds the amount of time down for every one to seven minutes, and
- Rounds the amount of time up for every eight to 14 minutes
For example, if any employee arrives to work at 7:07 a.m., the employer must round the start time down to 7:00 a.m. By the same token, if the employee arrives at 7:08 a.m., the employer must round the start time up to 7:15 p.m.
Can Employers Record Employee Work in Fifteen Minute Increments?
The FLSA does not prohibit employers from tracking employee work hours in fifteen-minute intervals. However, an employer who always rounds time by fifteen-minute intervals may do so in violation of the FLSA. For example, if an employee checks in at 7:47 and the employer rounds up her check-in time to 8, the employer cannot round a checkout time of 4:58 down to 4:45.
Per the FLSA, an employer may round down employee time from 1 to 7 minutes as a time not worked; however, the employer must also round employee time from 8 to 14 minutes up and count it as work time. Determining whether an employer’s rounding up process violates the FLSA can be complicated.
Proving Unlawful Time Shaving Practices
Most employers use timekeeping software to manage their payroll. Many New York City employers use one of the following popular timekeeping systems:
- Acument’s Clockview
- Buddy Punch
- Fleet Manager
- EPAY systems
It is usually possible to detect timekeeping manipulation within computerized timekeeping systems. Discovering electronic time shaving can be challenging, but it is not impossible. All of the timekeeping systems mentioned above track the deletion of time from employee’s time logs. Any changes made to the time logs are recorded within the software.
The wage and hour attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP know how to follow the electronic trail to prove an employer’s use of unlawful time shaving practices. In some instances, the services of a forensic payroll expert are necessary to detect electronic time shaving. Our attorneys are well-connected to forensic experts who can discover evidence of employer time-shaving.
Why Do Employers Engage in Time Shaving Practices?
Middle and lower-level managers often feel an immense pressure to increase profits and lower costs to receive quarterly bonuses. An easy way to lower costs is to shave time off of their employee’s time cards to reduce payroll expenses. Manipulating the timekeeping records of employees can seem like an easy way to earn a quarterly bonus. Time shaving and other illegal wage practices become a relatively easy way to meet the employer’s bottom-line falsely.
Contact Our New York Wage and Hour Attorneys
At Lipsky Lowe LLP fight hard on behalf of our clients, we work hard to fight against employers who engage in timecard manipulation and time shaving. Our attorneys have experience and legal skills to seek justice on our clients’ behalf against employers who shave time off of their employee’s time. If you are a New York City employee who suspects your employer of engaging in time shaving, contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.