The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has developed a new application for employees. It’s a free application for smartphones—currently it’s only available for iPhone® and iPod Touch®—but DOL
may expand it to other platforms such as Android® and BlackBerry®. The app is free and enables employees to record their own work hours. Employees without smartphones can print time sheets from the DOL site.
Both the app and the time sheets can be downloaded from www.do.gov/whd or from traditional app servers like iTunes. The employee is able to enter the employer’s name, the employee’s hourly rate, and the day the employee’s workweek begins. Once saved, that data will allow the employee to tap in the employer’s name for a prompt to “Start Work,” “Stop Work,” “Start Break,” etc. DOL claims it is preparing upgrades that will allow employees to track tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, weekend pay, shift differentials, and more. The app will flash a warning if—based on the information the employee inputs—it appears the employee is not being paid the federal minimum wage.
The app and the printable versions contain a glossary of terms defining breaks, gross pay, and the workweek. The app provides contact information for the DOL Wage and Hour Division.
And it is the DOL’s hope that the app will aid in wage and hour investigations. (BEWARE—DOL has a larger budget and more investigators.)
The new app was developed, at least partially, as a result of the ease with which employees can work outside of the employers’ facilities. DOL is concerned that some of that work may be done unwillingly and without adequate compensation. And DOL has made it clear that if there is any reason to believe that an employer’s time records are inaccurate, DOL will rely on the employee’s records. So employers should ensure that their timekeeping and payroll mechanisms are reliable, and prepare to address any conflicting employee records.
Please contact Bamberger’s employment law attorneys for advice about what employers should do, now that the DOL app is here.