Friday, March 16, 2012

Effective California Meal Penalty management using Time Clocks in PeopleSoft

Wage and Hour legal requirements in Calfornia necessitates that all non-exempt employees should get 30 minutes of uninterrupted meal break after working for 5 hours. If there is a violation of this law, employers are supposed to pay a penalty to the employee. It is a common requirement to encode this rule into PeopleSoft Time and Labor for CA based implementations. We have seen instances where employees get around this rule by cleverly clocking in 2 or 3 minutes prior to the 30 minute meal break period (that is, taking a meal break for 27 or 28 minutes instead of 30) and thus getting entitled for the meal penalty payment. For companies with a significant non-exempt population, this can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll leakage. An effective way in which we have reduced the abuse of this rule is to take advantage of the capabilities at the time clock level. In PeopleSoft Time and Labor implementations with an integration to a Time Clock (or a Time Collection Device in PeopleSoft parlance), we have got the time clock vendor to put a restriction at the clock side to prevent employees from clocking In from their meal breaks prior to 30 minutes. This means that if an employee tries to clock in after 28 minutes of meal break, the clock will issue an error message to the effect that 'You have not completed your 30 minutes of stipulated meal break' and prevent the employee from clocking in. If there are scenarios where it is required by business urgency for the employee to clock in, we can designate a supervisor who can override this restriction.
When you are designing your Time and Labor system, make sure that all potential areas of Payroll leakage is being addressed and an integrated system solution can surely help prevent these costly leakages!

This post is authored by HRoi Consulting - The PeopleSoft Time and Attendance experts

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