In late 2010, the New Jersey Legislature enacted a new regulation for use of time clocks and “rounding” of hours worked by employees. N.J.A.C. 12:56-5.8. “Rounding” is the practice of recording employees’ starting and stopping times to the nearest five minutes or to the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour when using a time clock. Before the new regulation came into effect, New Jersey’s regulations simply required that employees be paid for “all hours worked” without guidance on the use of time clocks or the practice of rounding.
The new regulation permits the practice of rounding, provided employees are properly compensated for all time worked. New Jersey’s regulation is now identical to the Federal regulation regarding the use of time clocks and the practice of rounding. New Jersey’s use of the same language used in the Federal regulation is intended to assure that employers currently complying with the Federal regulation will also be in compliance with New Jersey’s new regulation. The new regulation should prevent employers from incurring administrative penalties as a result of violating New Jersey’s wage and hour regulations.
New Jersey’s new regulation also states that employees voluntarily arriving before their shift and/or voluntarily remaining after their shift are not to be paid for that time. Their early or late clock-punching is to be disregarded unless they actually perform work before or after their shift.
© 2011 Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC