It is not uncommon for employers in Texas and throughout the country to use the “seven-minute rule” when it comes to how employee pay is calculated. Rounding up to the nearest 15-minute increment is done to make it easier for companies to complete payroll calculations at the end of a pay period. However, it could cost employees money as the time clock may indicate that they clocked in later than they actually did.

Federal law does say that companies can round time up or down by increments of five or six minutes. They also have the opportunity to round time up or down by increments of 15 minutes. However, employees must be paid accurately regardless of how a company chooses to handle its payroll calculations. It is also worth noting that employers are not required to use a time clock to keep track of how many hours an employee has worked.

Employees are required to be paid for any time that they are engaged in employment activities. This is true whether an individual shows up early, on time or late for a scheduled shift. Those who believe that they are not being paid for all hours worked are encouraged to speak with the Department of Labor or with other employment watchdog agencies. Doing so can also be a good idea for individuals who believe that their employers are preventing them from clocking in on time.

Companies that violate state or federal wage and hour laws may be subject to financial or other penalties. Workers may want to discuss their cases with legal representatives who have experience with such matters. This may make it easier for an individual to learn more about his or her rights and how to protect them either during settlement talks or during a trial.