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How Electronic Time Clocks Ensure Compliance with Labor Laws

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Keeping track of worker time isn’t an optional chore. Federal (Fair Labor Standards Act) and various state laws demand employers comply with regulations stating they must keep accurate records of the number of hours worked, wages paid and other conditions of employment. Beyond the laws, it makes good business sense for a company to accurately track employee time and attendance to ensure that they are only paying for work that is actually done, and not for the common fraud of “buddy punching.” Using electronic time clocks makes compliance a piece of cake.

The latest electronic time clocks cut back on time theft with more sophisticated employee identification, and also keep better track of time and attendance with systems designed to fit the most complex organizations – ones with multiple locations, different projects on the go, mobile workforces and much more.

Must Keep Accurate Records

The FLSA and laws in most states demand companies keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid to nonexempt employees. Exempt employees are on salary. Non-exempt employees work for an hourly wage.

While federal and state laws don’t specify how employers track nonexempt worker hours, many companies seek to comply with FLSA and other laws using a variety of manual and electronic time clock systems. These can include handwritten time cards, cards or badges with magnetic stripes, PIN entry set-ups, and even biometric time clocks, which use scans of unique biological features – such as fingerprints, hand prints and irises – to confirm each employee’s identity.

Any system that depends on employees to keep track of their own hours can lead to after-the-fact estimating that could distort the true number. With increasing levels of sophistication, the various employee time clocks are very good at keeping accurate time-and-attendance information.

However, it’s still possible for employees to share work badges or PIN numbers and continue the practice of buddy punching. Biometric time clocks provide the best protection against this abuse.

Keeping Track of Overtime

The FLSA requires companies to pay nonexempt employees a minimum wage and overtime for work hours that exceed 40 in a week.

Employers must comply with the mandated payment of overtime, and so accurate time-and-attendance records are required. Using the easy-to-navigate dashboards and thorough reporting functions of the best electronic time clocks, managers can keep track of overtime and take corrective action if it is getting out of hand with certain employees.

From the employee’s’ point of view, the accurate tracking of their hours ensures that they will be fairly paid.

Maximize Compliance

To ensure maximum compliance to federal and state laws, union agreements and internal company regulations, employers need to develop clearly stated policies that everyone receives, understands and follows. A time-and-attendance document should be part of this package.

Employees need to be able to see their own records and correct any mistakes that are made, or to stay atop any issues facing them. A good way to get such engagement is with an electronic time clock system that has an employee self-help portal, allowing workers to review time cards and their schedules, to question information and to make requests, such as arranging time off.

To learn more about how the right electronic time clock can help your company comply with federal and state labor laws, contact Accu-Time Systems today, a leader in time-and-attendance solutions since 1991.

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Biometric Usage: Growing concerns over the privacy and security of biometrics are driving government regulations surrounding the definition of personal data and how to protect it. These regulations vary from country to country, state-to-state, and in some cases city by city. Most often the governing regulations are dictated based on the location where the information is being collected. It is important to understand the local regulations in the geographic areas in which you operate. If you are uncertain regarding your regulatory obligations, we encourage you to consult with your legal counsel.