Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), businesses are required to adhere to specific record keeping practices. The law allows employers to use any method of timekeeping they choose, which could include utilizing a time clock, employing a timekeeper, or requiring workers to record their own times. To satisfy the law, a timekeeping plan need only be complete and accurate. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to make minor timekeeping errors that could have serious consequences for both employers and employees, making it especially important for business owners to seek advice before implementing their own systems.
Historically, most employers used manual timekeeping methods. In recent years, however, advances in software and data collection have significantly helped reduce timekeeping errors and improve payroll processing time. As a result, both small and large employers now mainly rely on automated timekeeping processes to record employee attendance. These systems also help by performing other functions, including:
Integrating data; and
These characteristics, in turn, make it easier to comply with both state and federal wage and hour laws, while also helping employers save time and money. However, using these types of systems requires employers to carefully maintain their programs. A failure to do so could result in a lawsuit, with an employee claiming that he or she was not compensated appropriately. If found liable for violating the FLSA, employers could be required to pay damages for unpaid overtime, attorneys’ fees, and civil penalties.
Many employees work on fixed schedules. However, this does not exempt their employers from using accurate timekeeping systems. In some cases, employers can keep a record showing the employee’s daily and weekly schedules with a confirmation that the worker adhered to the schedule. When workers exceed the fixed schedule or work fewer hours than usual, the employer must record the number of hours that the employee actually worked.
Whether you own a small or a large business, it is important to have an appropriate timekeeping system, so if you live in Oklahoma and have questions or concerns about accounting, bookkeeping, tax planning, or your own payroll program, please book a consultation with our team at CORE by calling 405-288-1207 to speak with someone at our Oklahoma City office, 918-209-3441 to speak with a member of our Tulsa team, or 580-353-2376 if you live in or near Lawton.