ROUNDING POLICIES: SEE’S CANDY DECISION SWEETENS THE POT FOR EMPLOYEES.
See’s Candy, the acclaimed candy retailer headquartered in San Francisco was recently slapped with a class action in San Diego Court. At the heart of the allegations was the candy store’s “rounding” policies with respect to their employees’ punch cards.
See’s, much like many other companies today, used an automated timekeeping system known as Kronos to keep track of employee time. Based on the hours lodged by employees on Kronos, See’s would calculate an employee’s pay after “rounding” the employee’s time to the nearest tenth, also taking into considerations the company’s grace period policy. After trial court granted summary judgment for employees, See’s filed an appeal.
The Fourth Appellate District reversed, shedding additional light on what constitutes an unlawful rounding policy. The Court held that a rounding policy will not be found unlawful if it is “fair and neutral” and does not result in underpayment of wages to the employee. Conversely, employees who are able to prove underpayment for their time are likely subjected to an unlawful rounding policy and may be entitled to recovery of penalties in addition to their unpaid wages.