Last week, I wrote about a study describing how certain timekeeping systems could create wage and hour liability through, among other things, making it easy to “cheat” and providing no transparency when changes are made. (Which makes it impossible to detect and correct errors.) Having addressed the “problem” last week, I wanted to talk this week about solutions.
But before I do that, I want to mention one more “problem” raised by my law partner Zan Blue, head of our Nashville Office. Here’s what Zan emailed me last Friday (I’ve edited very slightly):
My dear Ms. Shea— (Yes, that’s the way Zan really talks)
Some employers use the auto deduct feature on the timekeeping systems. Seriously.
This feature, much like the “reply all” feature on email, should never have been created, and employers should never let it remain active.
Some employers let time sheets read “8-5” for every day. Some employers don’t even show the actual hours worked, just showing a series of “8” hours. Seriously.
Well said, Zan. Thank you. I was focused on less-obvious timekeeping issues, but automatic deductions, and use of a “paraphrased” work day instead of an actual work day, are huge problems for any employers who are still doing that.
Here are six timekeeping practices that employers can adopt to keep their risk of wage-hour liability as low as possible (realizing, of course, that there are no guarantees):