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The legal risks of failing to track hours

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

Employers that don’t track how many hours employees work face a real disadvantage. If an employee sues for unpaid overtime, he or she will be able to use inexact estimates as proof of work done but unpaid.  

What’s more, should the employee win the case, those estimated hours end up doubled as punishment.

Recent case: Vincent drove trucks for his employer to various work sites, where he installed wireless networks. His employer did not track how many hours he worked at a site or whether he might work at more than one site per day.

Vincent sued, alleging that he had worked more than 1,100 overtime hours for which he had not been paid. He provided his own estimates based on his auto mileage log and emails he had sent to his managers.

The court said the case could go to trial.

And because the employer didn’t track the hours Vincent worked, his estimates can be used. If those estimates aren’t challenged with good, solid evidence that they are wrong, they will become the basis for calculating overtime due—and then doubled as the statutory penalty allows. (Faniola v. Proteus Services, No. 14-3081, SD TX, 2015)

Beware DOL’s ‘Timesheet’ app

The U.S. Department of Labor created a free app, Timesheet, that allows workers to tally up their hours worked. The app then calculates how much the worker’s paycheck should be.

More employees are using the app to confirm or question their employers’ pay and overtime calculations.

Learn more about the app at

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