With every employee, what records must you keep on file to stay aligned with all employment laws? Do you have a system to ensure nothing is accidentally missed? How do you ensure that your employees accurately complete their time cards?
In a BLR webinar titled "Wage/Hour: How to Avoid Enforcement Landmines and Devastating Class-Action Lawsuits" Marc L. Jacuzzi, Esq., led a section titled "Wage and Hour Recordkeeping: Best Practices to Manage Employee Work and Pay Records." In that section, Jacuzzi outlined the answer to this question. First of all, you must have a record of all time worked, which includes:
- Time in at the beginning of the shift
- Time out for the meal break
- Time in at the end of the meal break
- Time out at the end of the shift
This is essential for states that have meal and rest break requirements, but is still good practice in any state because it will better allow you to track overtime hours, which is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Since this is so important, you need to have recourse if an employee does not comply. You can make it a disciplinary action, up to and including termination (with warning of course). You can make the managers responsible as well.
Some states have penalties for the employers who do not keep accurate records. One option for you is to add a "time card disclaimer" to your card, which outlines that the card must be accurate and require employee signature.
Marc L. Jacuzzi, Esq., is a shareholder in the law firm of Simpson Garrity, Innes & Jacuzzi specializing in labor and employment law. (www.sgilaw.com) He advises both local and national clients regarding all aspects of the employer/employee relationship including hiring and termination issues, wage and hour requirements, employee classification issues, civil rights/discrimination issues, employee investigations, commission plans, employment contracts, employee handbooks and policies, confidential information agreements, reductions in force, leaves of absence issues, employment audits, M&A employment issues, violence in the workplace issues and international employment issues. Jacuzzi practices before state and federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and other state and federal agencies.
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