Proper timekeeping practices are critical in preventing wage and hour violations in the workplace. It is important for all employers to follow the guidelines set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that governs wage and hour issues. Here are some best practices for timekeeping that can help you avoid violations:
Establish and Implement an Accurate Recordkeeping Procedure
First, it is important to keep accurate records of employee work hours, including start and stop times, meal and rest periods, and overtime hours. Use reliable and accurate timekeeping tools such as electronic time clocks, timecards, and computerized systems to track employee hours. By implementing a timekeeping system that accurately tracks employee hours worked, you can better monitor employee hours and ensure that overtime pay is calculated correctly.
Also, if you have employees who work remotely, establish policies and procedures for monitoring their hours worked. This can include requiring them to log their hours in a timekeeping system or submitting regular reports on their work hours.
Be Sure to Classify Employees Correctly
It is crucial that your employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
Under the FLSA, employees are classified as either exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay requirements.
Non-Exempt Employees: Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. They are typically hourly employees or those who perform manual or routine work and are not in management or professional positions.
Exempt Employees: Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay. They are typically salaried employees who perform management or professional duties, such as executives, administrative personnel, and professionals.
To properly classify your employees, you should carefully review their job duties, salary, and other factors to determine whether they meet the criteria for exemption. This can be a complex process, and it is important to seek legal guidance if you are unsure about how to classify your employees.
Establish Clear Policies and Provide Appropriate Training
Employers should also develop clear policies and procedures for tracking and reporting employee work hours. Ensure that employees understand and comply with the policies. Likewise, it is important to maintain open communication with employees regarding their work hours and pay, and provide a way for them to report any concerns or violations. Training supervisors and employees on proper timekeeping practices, including how to accurately track their hours worked, how to record meal and rest periods, and how to report any discrepancies or errors will help to ensure your policies are followed appropriately.
Another key is to monitor overtime hours worked to ensure that employees are paid appropriately for their work. Overtime hours should be authorized in advance, and employees should not be allowed to work overtime without prior approval. Also regularly auditing employee timekeeping records will ensure that they are accurate and comply with company policies and state and federal regulations.
By implementing these timekeeping practices, you can help prevent wage and hour violations in your workplace and ensure that employees are paid fairly for their work.