These days, employers can often feel as though there is a target on their back when it comes to HR and workforce-related compliance. Whether it’s FLSA, OSHA, EEOC, ACA, or any of the other compliance-related acronyms, remaining compliant has become an ever-increasing challenge.
Putting employers even more on edge is the widely publicized increase in wage and hour investigations, audits and employee grievances. This trend comes as no surprise as government agencies have openly increased their investment in enforcing the proper treatment of employees.
So what can an employer do to have the proper defenses and stay ahead of these risks? There may not be a short answer, but one of the most effective solutions would be to implement an automated timesheet system that simplifies the tracking of time and labor. Although such a tool only addresses part of the compliance picture, it simplifies many of the most common issues.
Let’s review a brief list of how a time clock simplifies some of the compliance basics, especially when used with an advanced scheduling software:
- Recordkeeping – Employers are required by law to maintain complete and accurate records of employee hours for a variety of reasons. Employers should retain records on which wage computations are based for two years (i.e., time card, work schedule, time card calculator, etc.). Why not make this task effortless with an automated system? In doing so, you are far less likely to be vulnerable to an investigation, and if an audit does occur, you’ll have immediate access to auditable records that can withstand an unsubstantiated claim.
- Overtime Pay – One of the most common causes of employer penalties relates to overtime pay. Many employers are simply unaware of the proper application of overtime pay while others are knowingly falling short of federally mandated requirements. Simplify overtime pay through automation. In most cases, a timesheet solution can automate the application of both federal and state-based overtime policies, leaving little room for liability.
- The Affordable Care Act – With the recent introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) governing which employees qualify for health benefits based on hours worked, automated time and labor solutions have become a vital tool for HR. They are also highly beneficial in meeting the employer’s reporting requirements. An automated solution can be used to quickly identify part and full-time employees as well as the count of “Full-time Equivalents” over a selected period. What’s more, with advanced scheduling, employees can be scheduled for the appropriate hours, and automated alerts can be used to identify if employees are creeping into full-time eligibility. This is especially useful as employee shifts can fall out of line unexpectedly due to personal matters.
- Meals and Breaks – Another common source of contention and penalties is the management of break time. If not tracked in a convenient way, this can enter a grey area very quickly. Simply put, using an automated timesheet solution in combination with an appropriate policy is the best way to protect the company from disputes or loss in the event of a grievance.
Consider taking steps to protecting your organization with automated timekeeping. Given the low cost of implementation and strong return for employers, the choice to implement a solution should be clear. Contact 941 Timekeeping to learn more about how you can simplify compliance for your organization.