One decision an employer must make is How to Keep Track of Employee Hours. There are numerous ways to do this.
The federal government has a law called the Fair Labor Standards Act and most states have laws that govern the way employers keep track of employee hours. These laws include keeping an accurate record of hours and the amount of wages paid to nonexempt employees.
There are different ways to track hours worked. For instance, the old fashioned way of hand written time cards, the traditional way of punching time clocks, or the use of an electronic hand scanner or badge reader. Anyone of these methods are fine. The goal is accurate timekeeping.
Employers Must Create a Policy for Timekeeping
It is imperative that employers advise their employees of their responsibility to keep accurate records of the work they do. Accurately recording the time they arrive at work and the time they leave work are the responsibility of the employee. It is vital to have a policy in place that is clear about the consequences for falsifying time or clocking in for other employees. The policy should be clear about disciplinary consequences including termination.
Federal laws do not mandate that employers keep timekeeping records on exempt employees; however, employers still want to know how to keep track of employee hours even for exempt staff. It is crucial to have a way to keep up with sick days, floating holidays, paid leave off, jury duty, bereavement leave and other absences.
Keeping Track of Time: It’s the Law
Employers must understand that keeping accurate records of employee working hours is not optional at all. The FLSA(Fair Labor Standards Act), and many other federal and state laws make it mandatory to keep records of all hours worked.
To run a successful business, an employer must know all hours worked by employees. Many employers simply struggle with the best way. How to Keep Track of Employee Hours is a question that human resources professionals must figure out. Smaller companies without a human resources department must figure out the easiest way for them to keep accurate records of employee hours.
The FLSA mandates that all-time records show the day of the week and the time that the work week starts and stops. Employers must know how many hours were worked each day and the total of hours per week.
Choose a Time Keeping Method that Works for Your Company
Time cards are one of the oldest methods of keeping up with hours worked by employees. There can be some issues with this hand written method of timekeeping. There is a huge margin for error and fraud. Those employers that choose to use this method must keep up with time cards closely and have a good system to manage this.
In addition, employers must store these records in a secure location. Since time will have to be punched in manually, again, there is a margin for error when wages are paid. If your company is diligent about keeping close watch over time cards then it can work. It has worked for numerous companies over the years.
Time Clocks are quite efficient at record keeping. Now, if an employee must punch a paper card on the time clock, this can create the potential for fraud. In some instances, other employees punch in and out for other employees. Time clocks must be managed properly to keep accurate records. Time clocks are not mandated by any laws. Nevertheless, employees that voluntarily clock in before their scheduled shifts or voluntarily clock out after their scheduled shifts do not have to be paid unless they are working. It is very important to make sure that no job functions are performed when an employee is off, or the time will need to be compensated.
A badge reader is a computerized system that can read badges. Employees simply use their badge or ID card to scan into the timekeeping system. After they “clock in”, the information from the badge reader is transferred to a computer that records and calculates the information.
Another efficient way to keep up with employees’ working hours is using a hand scanner. The employee can simply put their right hand in the scanner and they can punch in a unique code that is assigned to them alone. The scanner recognizes the shape of their hand and other identifying features. With the hand scanner, employees don’t have to keep up with a badge.
SMART PHONE APPLICATIONS
Using smart phone options for time keeping is an innovative way to keep track of your employee’s time. With GPS tracking, employers will even know where an employee’s location is at any given time. Most people have smart phones these days, so utilizing this application once again is convenient for the employer and employee.