For employers and supervisors, we often think of compliance in terms of work safety or HR risk and violations. But employers, and particularly their supervisors, often fail to adequately consider wage and hour compliance laws from the Department of Labor. Requirements often apply at both federal and state level. While FLSA has been around since 1938 governing things like minimum wage and overtime, labor compliance is becoming increasingly more complex to manage, while enforcement and penalties are on the rise. There has perhaps never been a more pressing and valuable time to implement automated time, labor and scheduling software to simplify how you stay compliant.
Common Labor Compliance Issues Related to Time Management
Although the scope of a brief article such as this is not adequate to properly address all of the labor compliance check points, we can nevertheless identify a number of the most common and even some of the most recent compliance trends to pay watch for… specifically related to employee hours worked.
Keep in mind that a simple, online timesheet and scheduling system can be a quick and inexpensive remedy to all of these compliance challenges.
- Record Keeping – Employers are required by law to maintain accurate records of employee time worked for hourly, or non-exempt employees. Not having such records puts an employer in great risk for penalties and a DOL audit. This should be done for two years. As of December 1st, 2016, employers will also be required to maintain time records for exempt employees earning less than $47,476 per year or $913 weekly as new FLSA guidelines will cause these employees to be eligible for overtime pay.
- Overtime Pay – Overtime is one of the most common danger areas for employers. Employers frequently neglect or misunderstand circumstances for which employee work is payable and applicable towards overtime hours. Do you have employees who work off the clock, telecommute, who travel or who are required to take job-related training… to name a few gray areas? Be sure you understand how overtime applies in these scenarios.
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – The Affordable Care Act has not been around very long. At the center of ACA compliance is determining whether employees are considered full time or part time based on hours worked. The threshold for benefit eligibility is 30 hours weekly or 130 hours monthly. Maintaining accurate records to determine how many Full Time Equivalent Employees (FTE’s) you have and which employees are eligible for benefits is critical to remain compliant in today’s workplace. You can use an automated timesheet solution to track how many FTE’s your company employs.
- Tracking Salaried (Exempt) Employee Hours – Historically, employers have not tracked hours for employees on a salary (“White Collar Exemption”). With the recent ruling by the Department of Labor to double the pay threshold required for employees to be eligible for exemption from overtime pay, employers must begin tracking these hours as of December 1st, 2016. If you have employees on salary earning less than $47,476 or $913 weekly, with only a few exceptions, you must begin tracking hours for these employees in order to pay overtime and remain compliant. You can easily track and even reduce your overtime costs by using an automated timesheet system.
- Meals and Breaks – Another area in which employers frequently fall into trouble relates to meals and breaks. Employers who do not adequately track meals and breaks or mismanage an employee’s rights regarding breaks and meals could easily find themselves out of compliance and under investigation. However, you can simplify how you manage meals and breaks while increasing productivity by implementing a simple, online timekeeping system. These hours can be easily managed as departments or through meal/break keys.
Automated Time & Labor is the Easy Solution
Unfortunately for employers, this list represents only the beginning of compliance risk to stay ahead of. The good news is that by implementing automation tools such as scheduling software and a web-based time clock, you can inexpensively minimize a great deal of this risk while also increasing productivity and decreasing your cost of employee labor. We’re happy to help if you need assistance. Contact us at 941 Timekeeping to learn more about how you can reduce your compliance risk and labor costs.