A man looking at an office clock

Every business has a way to keep track of its employees’ hours. This, of course, pertains to the automotive repair business as well. They are usually done with physical or digital timesheets. On top of that, many employers implement what is called rounding practices. It is a way to observe staff hours and adjust them, so the numbers are easier to calculate when it comes to payroll.

This method has rules and terms attached to it to safeguard any misconduct on the company’s part. The more you understand the stipulations attached to rounding practices, the better it will be. You don’t want a mistake to lead to legal trouble especially things like overtime lawsuits in the automotive repair business. This article will break down everything you need to know about time rounding and how to do it correctly without incident.

Time Rounding

Time rounding is the procedure of rounding up the hours of employees during a workday when certain things can’t be recorded on the timesheet. This includes things like turning on equipment when you first arrive, restroom visits, kitchen, or snack breaks. In the United States, time is normally rounded to the closest fifteen minutes or the tenth-hour increment. For instance, if a mechanic worked nine hours and three minutes, the employer could round up the time to the closest five, ten, or fifteen minutes. Regarding this example, it would be logged that the employee worked nine hours and five minutes.

Why Do Time Rounding?

The two main reasons to do time rounding is that it helps when determining payroll numbers and aids employers in not getting ripped off by employees not doing their job. With the advent of time tracking technology, some employers don’t do rounding practice since everything for them is automated which means there will be no confusion in calculating precise hours.

Other employers like to use time rounding to stop their staff from punching in a little earlier and a few minutes later, meaning they are taking advantage and trying to clock more hours. Time rounding can be beneficial to the employees as well since you can’t begin and end your shift precisely every time. Rounding

practices give some space for that.

What is the FLSA?

It is short for the Fair Labor Standards Act and is a United States law that oversees setting overtime pay, minimum wage, youth employment rules, and recordkeeping. They established that overtime pay should be at least one-half times the regular pay rate if the employee has worked over forty hours in a work week (time-and-a-half).

The FLSA has been around since the late 1930s and has gone through many innovations over the past decades. Employers must comprehend the rules associated with time rounding and overtime hours when it comes to their employees regardless if they receive a salary or get paid hourly.

Are Rounding Practices Legal?

If you follow the very definitive rules that are in place. If you don’t understand or adhere to the specifications that have been determined, you can have lawsuits launched against you. In this case, we are talking about the automotive repair business, but this can relate to other businesses too. The three major rules to comply with are: using the strict rounding time rules (five, ten, and fifteen intervals), you can’t use it to detain an employee’s wages, and rounding practices should only be used if it benefits the boss and worker.

Being a mechanic or worker in the automotive repair business is hard work and often takes overtime to finish the tasks at hand. Knowing about time rounding and overtime practices is useful for Supervisors. You don’t want a simple mistake to explode into a full-fledged lawsuit and be looked at as an illegal act done on purpose.

Once you know about the legal rules of time rounding, it becomes obvious what isn’t above board. If you round up the time the employee starts and round down the clock-out time, this is unfair and is only a benefit to the company. This action is illegal, and the mechanic has a right to file against you.

Auto Dealership service departments and auto repair shops often utilize Job Time Tickets to track the amount of time spent by a mechanic or technician working on a particular job. These tickets are compatible with side-feed time clocks, and job recorders or they can be filled out by hand. If you operate an auto dealership or automotive service business and require Job Time Tickets, they can be purchased from MBR Marketing at: https://mbrmarketing.com/service-department/service-and-parts-forms/job-time-tickets.

Final Thoughts

The reputation of your business is extremely important to your success. This fact should begin with your employees first and foremost. Remember, as a manager of mechanics or technicians you need to be very careful when it comes to their overtime hours. Keeping accurate track of work hours is a step in the right direction.

There have been many lawsuits (including class action ones) filed against employers who do not pay for overtime hours. Some people have alleged that employers made the mechanics work through their allotted lunch breaks without compensation. If you keep everything legal and pay your employees fairly, there will be nothing to worry about.

However, if you are a mechanic or technician and you feel like something isn’t right, you should check what your rights are in your State and make sure you understand the wage and hour laws in your area. You can be eligible to file a complaint with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or contact a lawyer to see if a lawsuit is required.

Some people consider the rounding practices on time clocks as being somewhat outdated, however; it is a good thing to exercise as an employer if you want to keep a close eye on a mechanic’s workflow, and command over payroll numbers and customer billing. When time rounding is utilized fairly and accurately, it can be a great asset for both employer and employee.