Q. I heard something about a new wage-and-hour smartphone app that the Department of Labor has announced. What does it mean for our company?
A. In May, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched its first application for smartphones. The application is software designed to help employees track the hours they work and the wages they are owed.
The app, called “Timesheet,” is available in English and Spanish. It allows users to track their regular work hours, breaks and overtime hours. Users can also add comments related to their work hours and email a summary of work hours as an attachment. After the user enters the hourly wage, the app calculates the wages that are due.
The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch but the DOL is exploring updates for similar versions on devices like Android and BlackBerry.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to keep accurate records of’ hours.
However, this app is important because employees can use it to independently track their hours and keep their own records. That could be significant during a DOL investigation if an employer has not maintained accurate employment records.
Note that no court has yet ruled on how it might treat the employees’ own wage-and-hour records generated by the app. Nevertheless, this development is more incentive for employers to accurately track employees’ actual hours worked—not just hours written on a time sheet. This new government-endorsed tool would serve as powerful evidence in an employee’s wage-and-hour lawsuit.
The DOL “Timesheet” app can be downloaded at www.dol.gov/whd.
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