At its core, the analysis of time clock rounding allegations in a wage and hour or FLSA case is straight forward That is, the analysis typically involves determining if the time clocking rounding was neutral or did it favor the employee or employer, more times than not?
In practice, the analysis can be surprisingly somewhat complicated. The complications generally arise with reading and converting data to a usable format and interpreting the time punch entries. Both of these steps can have an impact on the underlying time clock rounding calculation A two step data process is common in a lot of wage and hour and FLSA time rounding cases.
Generally, getting the time punch data into an electronic format is preferable to data entry. However, the data provided by many time keeping systems, such as Kronos or others, are not directly compatible with popular spreadsheet and data base programs like Excel and Access. In many (if not most) instances, the data will need to be converted before it can be used for an analysis in a wage and hour or FLSA case analysis.
Step 1: Converting the data
First, the time punch is converted using either OCR or text conversion programs to a raw text format. The raw format of the time data is typically very messy. However, as long as the conversion is accurate and the data is laid out in the same format, the messiness of the data is typically not a big problem.
Step 2: Producing a usable data set
Second, computer routines written in data analysis programs, such as STATA, are used to convert the data into an analyzable format. A usable data format for data in a wage and hour or FLSA time rounding case is one where the data is laid out into. columns and rows of data.