The Department of Labor (DOL) permits companies to round off overtime, "provided that it is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a period of time, in failure to compensate the employees properly for all the time they have actually worked."

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development disagrees with the DOL and forbids the practice in the Garden State.

Now a class action lawsuit filed in Seattle accuses Amazon of cheating in its rounding and thus avoiding paying workers what’s properly owed them–to the tune of 15 minutes of overtime for every day worked. That’s a lot of unpaid wages that Amazon could face if found liable–the suit represents some 21,000 warehouse workers.

Let’s see, 21,000 X 15 = 315,000 minutes of lost overtime per day. Say each worker averages $10 an hour, that works out to $3,150,000 per day.

Worse, employees claim Amazon’s practice of rounding off to the nearest 15 minutes has been going on for years.


Amazon is not the only company being accused of nefarious timekeeping. Station Casinos in Nevada is accused of rounding off starting and ending times and thus cheating workers out of pay. Workers at Michigan Bell, the telecom, claim rounding off robs them of accrued overtime pay.

With the "new sheriff in town," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, cracking down on wage and hour violations with an added posse of 250 new field investigators, businesses are advised to keep accurate overtime records and pay accordingly.

Get a copy of Personnel Concepts’ Fair Pay Overtime Rules Kit and keep the DOL at bay by maintaining proper records and compensating accordingly.