New Department of Labor Timekeeping Application Serves as Wake-up Call for Employers
CHELMSFORD, Mass., May 19, 2011 — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a new timesheet application enabling employees to independently track their hours to help determine the wages they are owed. Consequently, organizations still relying on manual or outdated timekeeping systems now face increased exposure to wage and hour audits and/or lawsuits.
- The DOL timesheet application, which is available in both English and Spanish, tracks regular work hours, break time, and overtime hours. Additionally, users can add comments on any information related to their work hours, view a summary of work hours in a daily, weekly, and monthly format, and email the summary of work hours and gross pay as an attachment.
- According to the DOL announcement, this information "could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records."
- Employers using manual timekeeping methodologies are now faced with the burdensome task of reconciling their attendance records with those kept individually by employees. Inevitably, there will be discrepancies between the two sets of records which will need to be resolved.
- Organizations can help protect themselves from wage and hour claims by using modern workforce management solutions that allow employees to view and sign off on their hourly information using a common web browser or a mobile phone. This creates an employee-acknowledged version of the employee's attendance that can be used in defense of a wage and hour audit or employee lawsuit.
- Modern workforce management solutions provide the added benefit of helping employers comply with labor-related regulatory policies such as FMLA, FLSA, collective bargaining agreements, and state and local labor laws regarding meals and breaks, minor work rules, premium pay, minimum wage and more. Because these policies are complex and constantly changing, manually trying to comply with them is next to impossible.
- According to the DOL announcement, the free DOL timesheet application is currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The DOL will explore updates that could enable similar versions for other smartphone platforms and other pay features not currently provided for, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials, and pay for regular days of rest.
- Paul DeCamp, partner, Jackson Lewis LLP
"The Department of Labor timekeeping application is yet another example of why employers should be prepared to point to and defend the accuracy of their own records in the event of a dispute with an employee. Organizations who do not use an automated system to keep track of their employees’ hours are taking a big risk."
- John Hollon, vice president for editorial, TLNT.com and board member of The Workforce Institute
"The fact that the Department of Labor is offering a free app enabling employees to track their own time and providing them with guidance on how to file a wage and hour lawsuit should serve as a wake-up call to any organization that isn't currently using an automated system to track employees' time. This is about organizations making sure that they are doing what they should when it comes to labor management, and having the records to back that up if they need to."
- Rob Stalter, associate, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP (as stated at EmployerLawReport.com)
"This (DOL timekeeping application) should be a warning to employers of the need to have systems in place to accurately track your employees' hours worked. Otherwise, employees equipped with this and similar apps might be in a better position to prove higher hours worked in wage and hour cases."
- Jim Kizielewicz, senior vice president, Kronos Incorporated
"Employers are now faced with the task of trying to reconcile two sets of labor data – theirs and their employees. It's more important than ever that they look to a modern workforce management solution to provide a single source of the truth."
About Kronos Incorporated
Kronos® is the global leader in workforce management solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 60 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications. To learn how Kronos uniquely delivers complete automation and high-quality information in an easy-to-use solution, visit www.kronos.com.
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