The federal and state governments have countless ways to find employers noncompliant and start imposing big fines: wages and hours, workplace safety, healthcare laws and regulations. The list keeps growing. Once the government fines get levied, the private lawsuits typically aren’t too far behind. Then there are contract compliance issues to manage. In short, noncompliance isn’t just bad employee management – it can cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.
Automated systems, like time and attendance solutions, are a strong line of defense keeping all your compliance efforts on track. A critical piece of that defense is automating the process of getting employee attestation that certain legal or contractual requirements are being met.
The most effective point for collecting employee attestations is at the time clock terminal itself. When you install terminals with the screen display and functionality to handle employee attestations, you’re simplifying and improving your compliance procedures.
Embed employee attestation into the daily workflow
When attestations are built into your time clock terminal, employees are making their attestations contemporaneously with the occurrence in question. For example, you can configure your time clock to present a specific attestation when an employee punches-in early from their allotted lunch break. The language could read, “You have X minutes of lunch break left.” Or when workers punch-out at the end of each shift, the time clock can present an attestation reading, “I attest that I witnessed no workplace accidents today.”
Integrating the attestations into the time clock terminal means you’re collecting important compliance data in real time, enhancing its credibility. Trying to follow up after the fact to get attestations from employees, whether paper and pen or online, is more vulnerable to questioning than a contemporaneous attestation.
Enforce exception management
Employee attestations aren’t pro forma. When employees make them regularly, managers can get in front of potential issues before they become a noncompliance issue. Let’s say the employees don’t attest. That is, the first clicks, “Yes, a manager is requiring me to return from lunch early” or the second clicks “Yes, I did witness an accident today.” The data collected by time clock flows into backend systems that can push out red-flag notifications for managers to follow up promptly.
Now, the employee being forced to return early from lunch can be authorized to leave work early. The manager who forced the early return can be identified and given a refresher on the risks to the company if employees aren’t able to take their full lunch breaks. In the case of the accident, if no accident has been reported up to the manager, the manager can investigate the issue immediately.
Real-time attestations help companies avoid exceptions from turning into noncompliance risks.
Stay current with compliance requirements
Pushing out new attestation forms and requirements to all departments and managers is time consuming and provides no means of ensuring compliance. When the attestations are built into the time and attendance system, HR can roll out new requirements through a simple update to the time clock software.
The best time clock offers companies wide-ranging functionality to improve company operations and compliance, beyond just collecting time and time out data. Through integrations with a variety of back-end systems, companies can take advantage of these more sophisticated time clocks to handle employee attestations on a variety of legal and operational issues. To learn more about how you can find the right time clock, contact us today.
While ATS is passionate about time and attendance and excited to support organizations navigate workforce dynamics around timekeeping and employee time clocks, we recommend you reach out to your regional and/or local HR chapter for more information on common workplace advice and procedures.