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Your choice: Keep accurate time records … or let jury decide number of hours worked

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Keep good time records showing how many hours employees work. Otherwise, expect to fight it out in court if some of your employees allege they weren’t paid for all time worked and are due overtime.

Without the records, a court won’t quickly dismiss the case even if you present sworn testimony from some employees countering the hours claimed by other workers.

The court will let a jury decide whose testimony is more believable.

It’s a powerful reason to carefully track hours with a reliable method such as a time clock.

Recent case: A group of employees working for a dry cleaning company sued their employer, alleging that they had not been paid for all the hours they worked.

First, the dry cleaning company tried to argue it wasn’t a covered employer because it didn’t have sales of at least $500,000 per year, a threshold for having to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, its tax return clearly showed sales in excess of that figure.

Then the employer presented sworn statements from other employees about the hours they and their co-workers worked. There were no time clock or other records.

Meanwhile, the employees who sued claimed they regularly worked 50 or more hours per week.

Because of the conflicting accounts of hours worked, the court said a jury will have the opportunity to decide who is telling the truth and who is not. The case was set for trial. (Heard v. Aashu LLC., SD TX, 2017)

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