Clocking-In – How to Calculate Hours Worked

Are you an employer wondering if you can round hours to the nearest quarter of an hour?

Are you an employee wondering what hours count for overtime?

Check this out: if the employee clocks out at 36 minutes past the hour it can be rounded down to 30 minutes and if the employee clocks out at 37 minutes past the hour it can be rounded up to 45 minutes past the hour.  Pursuant to its Advisory Bulletins, Colorado Department of Labor permits this rounding of hours worked. However the rounding must be reasonable and benefit the employee as often as it benefits the employer. It also contemplates a 5 minute or tenth of an hour rounding not a quarter of an hour. Even if rounding does occur, it should be done in a way that ensures the employee is fully compensated for all hours worked.

As for working overtime, there is a requirement that all hours over 40 hours be compensated at 1.5 times the base rate. Overtime pay must be paid for the actual time worked over 40 hours per week.

How do these two concepts mix? Using the rounding method above, if an employee were to work eight hours and six minutes each day for a week, the employee would be entitled to 30 minutes of overtime for that week because he worked 30 minutes over the 40 hour limit. This conclusion is reached because of the language requiring payment for any work in excess of the 40 hour limit.

In other Labor Bulletins, the term “actual hours worked” is used. This language would imply that rounding is not permitted even in light of the most recent Labor Bulletin cited above. A conundrum?  Perhaps, but we would follow the most recent Labor Bulletin that allows rounding.

More questions? Contact us: Arnold & Arnold, LLP

Kris Jukola, Esq.