# Can someone explain the 7 min grace period clocking in to me?

Asked by chelle21689 (6557) January 13th, 2014

I didn’t know about this today. That our time clock rounds.. For example if I work 8:30am to 5:00pm, I can arrive work at 8:23am or 8:37am but still be considered at work at 8:00am right?

What if my lunch is at 12:00–12:30pm, and I choose to take only a 15 minute break…then how would clocking in round it? Does that mean I can leave 15 min earlier than scheduled time like at 4:45??I get to leave early if I shorten my lunch.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

If you clock in between 8:23 and 8:37 you’re considered at work at 8:30, not 8:00. The payroll system has to have a way to determine the time by quarter hours. That’s to keep it simple and not have to pay by the minute.

7:53 to 8:07 = 8:00
8:08 to 8:22 = 8:15
8:23 to 8:37 = 8:30
8:38 to 8:52 = 8:45
8:53 to 9:07 = 9:00

I can’t speak for your company’s lunch or break policy. Before you do anything, I would check with your direct supervisor or someone in human resources. Also, if your boss has to approve your time card, I would be careful in cutting it close. He/she may be paying attention. I’m not saying that you’re planning to do this, just giving you a heads up.

tedibear (17127)

Oops I meant 8:30 lol not 8!!!

chelle21689 (6557)

No no no. The seven minute rule means that you can get in at 8:06 and it’ll be as if you got there at 8, but if you got there at 8:07, it would be as if you got in at 8:15. Girl, you can’t come rolling in at 8:23 and have it count as 8! That’d be nice.

ETA: I just saw you corrected yourself. You were right except for the 8:37. That would count as 8:45.

My new job does that too, but we don’t “clock in.” We have timesheets we do ourselves and they just take our word for it.

I made a typo. I meant 8:30 not 8.. I thought @tedibear seemed right, but your response is different. So who is the right one?

chelle21689 (6557)

What the time clock thinks and what the boss thinks are usually very different things. Payroll may consider 8:07 to be 8:00, but the boss may still nail you for being late at 8:01.

jerv (31025)

@chelle21689 I know for sure my company does it the way I described. Other companies may have a different rule.

You may get paid for 8:30 if you clock in at 8:35, but if you started doing that all the time, and I was your boss, I’d counsel you to get to work on time or get fired. And no, you don’t get to cut lunch and leave early. A full rest break is required, and labor laws are explicit, so if you worked for me I’d say, “No, take your full break and work until 5 like you are supposed to.”

People that play cute with time clocks and work are the kind that bosses don’t like, because it sets a bad example and is a pain in the ass to deal with, when being at work is a basic requirement of the job. I’ve told employees, “if you really dislike being here, we can make arrangements so you don’t have to be here anymore.”

zenvelo (29826)

@zenvelo idk, my supervisor (hr supervisor) told me since I had a 15 minute lunch I could leave early if I do that. I’m not planning to come in late….I always come five minutes early. She told me 15 minute break at least.

I’m just concerned on how this would work with breaks if she tells me I can leave early if I take a shorter break.

To be honest she told me our hours are a little flexible for the administrative departments of the organization unlike for nurses, doctors, clinicians, etc. in he building.

chelle21689 (6557)

@jerv At my husband’s job, they count 6:01 as 6:15, but 5:59 definitely doesn’t count as 5:45. Brutal.

Be careful with directions from your boss regarding when you can be late and what you can do with an extra few minutes here and there. I’ve been in situations when I was first starting out in the workforce where I took those sorts of things literally, and was later looked down upon for it, for just following instructions. If not by the boss, by other employees – but yes, sometimes by the boss.

It’s tricky, because sometimes they just want to not look like a hardass, so they’ll say something like “Oh just take off a few minutes early”, but if you assume they mean this as a rule, over time they’ll start to think you’re taking advantage, and negative observations on their part seem to add up more quickly than positive ones.

I would advise you to keep coming in a few minutes early, and rarely take advantage of the offer to leave early. It’s better to be seen to be the person who puts in a little extra time than as the person who always made sure she didn’t donate even five minutes of her time. It won’t cost you much to maintain the good impression.

glacial (12115)

@glacial I completely agree. I’ve stayed late twice in my mere 8 days at my new job, and I don’t mind! The attorney I support has told me I’m “awesome” and thanks me a lot for what I do. She even gave me a skinny cow treat from her stash as a thank you for staying 15 minutes late to e-file a pleading for one of our federal cases. I was told by their last hire that she didn’t get to do that for a month. Go me!

Ever since I started, I’ve been leaving my house at 7:30 and I usually end up getting to work around 8 and having to sit in my car for awhile before going in. Last Thursday, I decided to leave just 15 minutes later and leave myself a 15-minute buffer. I ended up sitting on the interstate in traffic that would not budge and I ended up being 15 minutes late. That made me so nervous, even though they understood (and it evened out because that late night was the day prior). I went back to leaving at 7:30 because if I’m running late, like I was this morning, I’ll still make it on time.

Don’t try to “cheat the clock” to get a few minutes in of not working. You don’t want a reputation as the employee that shows up 7 minutes late and leaves 7 minutes early – if you don’t want to be there, they won’t want you there!

But is it ok for her to clarify the rules? I’m not trying to cheat the system, I’m more concerned about the break. I don’t really care for 30 minutes so I take 15. She told me I can leave 15 minutes early if I do…but I want her to clarify if it’s only when she says so or not I would get in 40 hours of work still…not more not less.

chelle21689 (6557)

It depends on both the job and the company. Different companies have different policies. Some companies follow the policy of 7 minutes early/late. So if you clock in at 8:25, they would pay from 8:30 on and also if clock out at 5: 07, they will pay you till 6. They just love employees to clock in early and clock out late. Just try not to be late. Some Companies mention in their hand book specifically regarding Lunch Break policy. They state that ” a person may not work through their meal break” in order to arrive late, leave early or to work extra time.

Smitha (5723)

Oh ok. Yeah she did tell me we are allowed to work through our lunch break if we need to make up for time…just as long as it’s 40 hours no more… But I will ask her to clarify. I just hope it doesn’t make me look sneaky

chelle21689 (6557)

I had never heard of making time by quarter-hours before. When I used to run a payroll back in the dark days before computers, we did it on tenths of an hour. Every six-minute increment meant 1/10th of an hour, and we gave employees the benefit of the rounding. That meant that 8:00 to 8:06 rounded to “8 AM”, and so forth.

CWOTUS (24342)

Pay attention to what @glacial said, which is from the same place I was coming from. Despite what your Supervisor says, your Supervisor does not set company wide policy, and companies get in trouble when they are found to be not in compliance with the law. Where I worked, we had to make it clear that people had to take their full break, because otherwise we’d run afoul of Wage and Hour Law.

So take a book to read, or write letters to your boyfriend, or write notes to your boyfriend’s sister telling her he’s a big kid. But take your full time.

zenvelo (29826)

I was given a verbal reprimand for having too many “8:05’s” and “8:06’s” during one particular pay period. Even though the time system recognized those times as 8:00, the timekeeper reminded me that I was expected to be on the job, ready to start work at 8:00 sharp!

Strauss (18967)

That’s excellent, @livelaughlove21. Sounds like a great working environment, too.

glacial (12115)

@chelle21689 you ask for the rules to be clarified when they are already clear. You work from 8.30am to 5.00pm with half an hour for lunch.

flutherother (25703)

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