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(1) Applicable regulations governing keeping of records. Section 39-3-403 MCA of the law authorizes the Commissioner to promulgate regulations requiring the keeping of records of hours worked, wages paid and other conditions of employment.

(2) Where records show insubstantial or insignificant periods of time. In recording working time under the law, insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the scheduled working hours, which cannot as a practical administrative matter be precisely recorded for payroll purposes, may be disregarded. This rule applies only where there are uncertain and indefinite periods of time involved of a few seconds or minutes duration, and where the failure to count such time is due to considerations justified by industrial realities. An employer may not arbitrarily fail to count as hours working time or practically ascertainable periods of time he is regularly required to spend on duties assigned to him:

(3) Use of time clocks.

(a) Differences between clock records and actual hours worked. Time clocks are not required: In those cases where time clocks are used, employees who voluntarily come in before their regular starting time or remain after their closing time, do not have to be paid for such periods provided, of course, that they do not engage in any work. Their early or late clock punching may be disregarded. Minor differences between the clock records and actual hours worked cannot ordinarily be avoided, but major discrepancies should be discouraged since they raise a doubt as to the accuracy of the records of the hours actually worked.

(b) "Rounding practices". It has been found that in some industries, particularly where time clocks are used, there has been the practice for many years of recording the employee's starting time and stopping time to the nearest 5 minutes, or to the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour. Presumably this arrangement averages out so that the employees are fully compensated for all the time they actually work. For enforcement purposes this practice of computing working time will be accepted, 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.

History: Sec. 39-3-403, MCA; IMP, Sec. 39-3-404 & 39-3-405, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72.

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