3 FLSA Time Tracking Mistakes with Better Communication 1

3 FLSA Employee Time Tracking Mistakes Corrected with Better Communication

By: Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 


It’s surprising how quickly an employee time tracking error can snowball into a much larger and much more expensive issue if you’re not following the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). One of the seven FLSA fails for employee time tracking revolves around accurately tracking employees’ time when they are taking breaks. Last month, a Memphis meat packing company learned this lesson at a pretty high cost, but the same principle can apply to any industry. They asked their employees to end their lunch breaks five minutes early to go back to work without paying them for their five minutes of work. During those five minutes, they asked their employees to wash their hands, stand in a foot bath and to change into their uniforms. These were important tasks that the employees needed to do their job; the problem was that their work was uncompensated.


So, you may be thinking, okay, the employees didn’t document their time correctly and five minutes can’t be that big of a deal, right? You might think it would amount to a few thousand dollars. Well, we’d both be wrong. The five minutes a day for each of the days the 272 employees worked added up and also put some employees into overtime. This resulted in a Department of Labor award of $127,830 in back pay and liquidated damages to the 272 employees for violating the FLSA. All of this could have been avoided if the HR team had clearly communicated and educated the supervisors and employees about the rules for employee time tracking for breaks. In addition, there are two other FLSA errors related to employee time tracking that can easily be avoided with clear communication and education for your employees and supervisors to avoid costly fines and unanticipated wage payments for back pay and overtime. Here are a few things that your supervisors and employees can do to make sure that you’re paying your employees what they have legally earned for all their hours worked:

Employee Time Tracking Lunch Breaks

 

 1. Working On Break - If your supervisors or managers interrupt an employee’s unpaid break to ask them to return to work, many times employees forget to change their clock in time. They're used to writing their lunch hour from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm and don't update their employee time records to show they actually started work again at 12:55 pm. Supervisors should remind employees to clock back in before they start working if the supervisor asks them to come back from lunch early. The other option is to not interrupt their lunch break and ask the employee to see you when they’re done. We all know taking breaks makes employees more productive and happy.

 

Employee Time Tracking Clock In Out

 

 2. Work Before/After Shift- If an hourly employee’s normal shift is 8 AM to 5 PM and you ask them to come early to work or stay late, make sure you’re telling them to clock in when they start work and clock out when they end work. One of the seven FLSA fails for employee time tracking is that employees don’t include the time they work before their shift starts and/or after their shift ends. Make sure that you’re always encouraging your employees to accurately tracking their time. When supervisors have an automated employee time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME available from their mobile devices, they don’t have to worry about employees going into overtime. They can see in real time how many hours their employees are working. 

 

Employee Time Tracking Travel Time

 

 3. Paying Travel Time to/from Shop to Job Site - For many industries, you may need employees to go to a location away from their assigned job site for the day to pick up or drop off items. When employees are traveling from the shop to pick up to tools or equipment, make sure they are including the travel time from the shop to the job site for accurate employee time tracking and FLSA compliance. If you ask your employees to drop off tools at the shop after their regular shift hours, remind them to make sure they clock out after they drop off the tools to shop. Driving to pick up items to perform their job or that are duties that are part of their job is considered work and your employees need to be legally paid for their time. According to the Department of Labor, you are required to pay employees for time spent traveling during normal work hours.

 

 

So many of your employee time tracking issues can be easily be taken care of by clearly communicating with your employees and supervisors that you want to pay them accurately for all the time that they work. Make sure your hourly employees know that they need to be on the clock whenever they are performing work. If not, these employee time tracking oversights can quickly snowball into very expensive Department of Labor investigations where you could be forced to pay back pay, overtime, and fines for violating the FLSA.


For companies with a mobile workforce, you should consider using an automated employee time tracking solution to build in some a more systematic approach to solving your FLSA employee time tracking issues. It’s tough to get all of your employees and supervisors on the same page when it comes to tracking time. By using WorkMax TIME and WorkMax FORMS together you can prompt your employees with questions before they clock IN/OUT for the day to ensure they are correctly tracking their time. Check out our next blog to learn how you can use WorkMax TIME with WorkMax FORMS to build in checks and balances for the ultimate time tracking accuracy.

To learn more about how WorkMax TIME can help you avoid costly Department of Labor FLSA fines, view our video or watch our demo on demand. 

ViewVideo2 01     View Demo Orange

 

FLSA Guilty of This Employee Time Tracking Error

Are You Guilty of This FLSA Employee Time Tracking Violation?

By: Shannon Corgan, WorkMax Director of Marketing

With so many priorities for your business, it’s difficult to know that you’re following all the rules for tracking your employees’ time to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and avoid fines from the Department of Labor. There are seven common FLSA mistakes. Are you guilty of any of these Seven FLSA Fails for Employee Time Tracking?  A few of these mistakes were the reason that this month a pool builder in Houston, had to pay $115,786 in back wages to 68 employees for FLSA overtime violations. They made an FLSA faux pas by paying flat salaries per week or flat rates per job to drivers, mechanics, finishers, and others regardless of the number of hours their employees worked. They didn’t pay overtime when these employees worked more than 40 hours in a week. Additionally, they did not have an employee time tracking process in place to capture the actual number of hours the employees worked per day and per a week. That’s a FLSA recordkeeping no-no. 

So, how do you make sure you’re not the next one on the list for a Department of Labor investigation? Let’s take a look at three ways this Houston pool builder, could have kept the Department of Labor away:

Employee Time Tracking FSLA Pay Per Hour

 

1. Paying Non-exempt Workers Hourly Rates - Just because you’re paid for a project based on project milestones or project completion, it doesn’t mean you can pay your non-exempt manual laborers the same way. In the construction industry, some of your jobs are paid per job, but the way that your business earns your income does not affect the way that you are responsible for paying your employees to comply with the FLSA. If you do, it’s going to get you into hot water with the Department of Labor when you have non-exempt workers.

 

Employee Time Tracking FSLA Recordkeeping

 

 

2. Track Employees’ Time Daily and Weekly - Get accurate start and stop times and make sure you’re tracking your employees’ time on a daily and weekly basis for accurate FLSA recordkeeping. It’s your responsibility as an employer to track to your employee’s time per day and per week and to pay your non-exempt manual laborers their hourly rate and any overtime when they work more than forty hours in a week. If you don’t, you may be part of the next Department of Labor investigation. The Department of Labor can recover back wages and also assess you a penalty of up to $1,100 for each willful or repeated violation for overtime. You can read the full list of all of the FLSA recordkeeping requirements here

 

Employee Time Tracking for OverTime

 

3. Paying Employees Overtime for Over 40 hours Worked – If you’re not accurately capturing your employees’ time on a daily basis (with accurate start and stop times), it’s tough to get accurate weekly totals for overtime calculations. When you have non-exempt employees, according to the federal overtime provisions contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at least one and a half times their hourly regular rates of pay. According to the Department of Labor,  you don’t have to pay overtime for work on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays unless your employee worked more than 40 hours in that work week. This is based on the federal regulations covered in the FLSA. Some states may have additional wage and hour legislation that may require you to pay overtime for other circumstances other than the federal FLSA regulations. 

 

Using an accurate employee time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME is sure to keep the Department of Labor off your back. You can capture daily clock INS/OUTS of all of your employees on paper, but paper doesn’t give supervisors and payroll staff back at the office the visibility into what employees are doing in real time when they are not at the job site. You can’t be proactive and see in real time who forgot to clock IN/OUT for the day to accurately track the hours they work. WorkMax TIME handles complex overtime tracking and calculations and automatically calculates your employees’ overtime, so there are no issues with not paying your employees when they work over 40 hours in a week. You also get a more accurate accounting for the hours that were worked with WorkMax’s real-time data capture. Additionally, when you’re using paper time cards, there is always the element of human error. Your payroll employee could miscalculate the hours worked and make a mistake with overtime calculation. All of that is eliminated with WorkMax TIME

To learn more about how WorkMax TIME can help you avoid costly Department of Labor FLSA fines, view our video or watch our demo on demand. 

ViewVideo2 01     View Demo Orange

BLOG 3 Ways Paper is Drastically Driving Up Labor Costs that Mobile Forms Solve

3 Ways Paper is Drastically Driving Up Labor Costs That Mobile Forms Fix
By: Shannon Corgan, WorkMax Marketing Director

 

You already know the Top 10 Paper Forms Challenges because you live and breathe them every day and you know that you’re sacrificing the accuracy that you want with paper forms, but have you sat down to think about how Paper is affecting your labor costs? Here are three ways you're driving up your labor costs by continuing to use paper forms instead of mobile forms: 

1 Grey Green White

Wasted Time Distributing Paper Forms – When you get a paper form back in the office, more than one employee needs access to the information. This requires additional work to get the right forms and documentation to the right people in your company. This involves scanning the paper form into a digital format and naming the file. Your office staff has to set up a good way of organizing the forms by the employee that submitted the form, by form name, by the client name, or by job location. When you’re saving these digital forms, you really only have one way to organize and find them. Additionally, if there were any photos, sketches, or videos taken that support the paper form, all of those have to be saved and carefully named to hope you can find them if you ever need them in the future.  Once your office employee has the digital form with all of the supporting documentation, he/she has to remember which project managers, safety officers, accounting employees, and management staff he/she needs to email the information. If you have 40 service workers that complete 8 work orders per day, it would take your office worker about 3 minutes to scan the paper form, save it, name all the files, and email it with all of the supporting photos, videos, and sketches. If your office worker’s hourly rate is $15 per hour, this manual process is costing you $62,500 per year. WorkMax mobile FORMS, you can capture and embed all the photos, videos, and sketches in your mobile form. There are no separate photos or video files to save and name. As soon as the mobile form is completed and synced, it can be set up in advance to send particular forms to all the right people inside and outside of your company automatically. If you ever need to find a form at a later date to send, it is easy to find the form based on any of the fields that are on the form. You can find it by the employee that completed it, the date they completed it, the project name or location, or the form name using all of the criteria to find it instantly. The possibilities are endless.  All the photos, videos, or sketches are embedded in the mobile form, so you have everything you need and to easily distribute completed forms today or 10 years from today.

2 grey green white

Time Delays – Managing a mobile workforce and collecting all of the critical business information to run your business can be quite a challenge. First, you have to make sure you have enough paper copies of the forms at all of your remote work locations to ensure that the employees are providing you what you need. If you don’t have a job trailer at each job location with a printer, that means that someone has to deliver all the forms to all of the job locations. In addition, once the forms are completed, one of your supervisors has to collect all the forms and return them to the home office or each of the employees are adding time to their time cards driving the forms to the home office. It’s surprising how quickly the cost could add up. If you had each of your 40 mobile employees going out of their way to drive paper forms to the home office with an extra 30 minutes of labor time once a week at an hourly rate of $20 per hour, you’re driving up your labor costs by $20,800 annually with paper. Imagine if you had your employees driving to your office every day to pick up their work orders rather than driving directly to the customer’s location when it’s closer to their home. By using paper for your daily progress reports, you could also be driving up your labor costs. If daily progress reports aren’t getting back to the home office until late in the day, you could be paying premiums to add additional labor to the job for the next day to keep your project on schedule. WorkMax mobile FORMS eliminates any time delays getting information back to the office. The mobile forms are submitted in real time from any mobile device from anywhere and at any time. Your mobile forms have the most up-to-date fields to collect all the data on the forms. This means you no longer have employees delivering paper forms to the job locations. The supervisors and employees don’t need to drive to the office to turn in their completed forms or pick up their work orders.

3 Grey green whiteExtra Labor Hours Documenting Photos, Photo Markups, and Videos - When you have your mobile employees documenting the status of their projects, it’s always helpful to capture photos with the ability to mark them up or videos to show the work that they’ve done. When you’re completing progress reports or work orders, your employees fill out the paper form and take pictures and videos. They can't mark up the photos without printing them out, marking them up and scanning the photo with markups into a digital file. At times file sizes of the photos or videos can be too large to email or send via text messaging. When this occurs, the employee has to go to the office and connect their camera or mobile smartphone to a computer to download the images.The pictures and videos have to then be organized by each project, name them and date them. If they are using cameras in the field, they have to download the photos onto a computer and manually send them to the office with descriptions. All of these steps to provide the best documentation to your customers, but all these manual steps add more labor hours to your budget. The paper forms and photos are separate files and to see what’s really going on in the field, you have to open each individual file. If your employees don’t stay on top of organizing this data in a timely manner, you could have missing photos and videos or photos and videos saved to the wrong projects. It’s a lot of extra time for your field staff and your office staff to manage the process. If you paid an office employee $15/hour and she spent two hours a week organizing all the photos and videos and associating them with the right projects from all the forms and photos sent from the field, it may only cost you $1,560 per year. But when you look at the one hour per week that your 40 field employees with an hourly rate of $20 could be spending either in the office downloading the images and photos and videos because they couldn’t email them, you are wasting $41,600 in labor costs. This doesn’t even include the labor hours for the time these employees have to commute to the office to download the photos or videos. This $41,600 labor cost could be eliminated with mobile forms and allow your employees to be doing more billable work. With WorkMax mobile FORMS, there is no need for all of these extra steps. WorkMax mobile FORMS embed the photos with markups and videos as part of the work order or daily progress report forms to automatically organize everything for you. You can see all of the work orders with all the detailed photos with markup and video documentation you need to easily find what you need. WorkMax mobile FORMS allows you to find all of your forms by form type, project name or number, by location, or work order type. If the fields are in your forms, you can do a global search by any criteria to find what you need quickly to reduce your labor hours.

To learn more about WorkMax mobile FORMS, view our video or see a demo-on-demand video now!

       View Video Green                              Watch Forms Demo Now 01  

BLOG Top 3 Paper Form Accuracy Issues Solved with Mobile Forms

Top 3 Paper Form Accuracy Issues Solved with Mobile Forms

By: Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 


For businesses with a mobile workforce, most struggle with getting accurate documentation from the field. Since most businesses started with good old paper forms, they continue to use them without stopping to take a look at what it is costing their business in terms of accuracy. Sometimes business owners take for granted the labor hours that are expended processing these paper forms and the additional labor hours that are spent because of the problems associated with paper forms. Getting accurate information from the field to the office is critical to keep your business compliant, to expedite billing and invoicing, and optimize your efficiency. Here are top three accuracy issues related to paper forms:

 

Missing Data

Missing Information on Forms –There are a few reasons why it happens. Unfortunately, when you’re relying on humans, there’s always human error. You may have an employee that’s not detail-oriented, but they’re great at their job. Out in the field, it’s more likely that your employee is going to get distracted and overlook a field on your paper forms. It could also be that they don’t understand what you’re looking for, so they would rather leave it blank than put in the wrong information. Getting accurate information is important when it comes to completing work orders and safety forms. The longer it takes to get all of the right information to bill or invoice your clients, the longer it takes to get payment from them. When it comes to safety, you want to make sure you have all the fields on the safety forms filled out to be compliant with OSHA reporting timeframes. All of these issues with paper forms can be solved with a mobile forms solution. With WorkMax mobile FORMS, you can make fields required on a mobile form to make sure you get all the right information on a form to be compliant, ensure the accuracy of work orders to expedite billing, and save your office staff time. They no longer have to waste their time on phone calls, texts, and emails to field employees to get the missing information on the forms.


No Control

Can’t Control the Data Format – One of the biggest issues with paper forms is that you can’t control how employees enter the information on the paper form. When employees misunderstand the information you’re asking for, they write in what they think is the correct response. The end result is that you’re STILL not getting accurate information. With paper forms, you’re always trying to fit your forms on one page to save on paper costs and increase your chances that your employees fill out the whole form. It also makes it difficult to do any reporting on the information on the form because the data that employee enters isn’t in a standardized format. Also, doesn’t it seem that as soon as you print a form, it is out of date? Don’t you feel like you’re constantly having to print and redistribute forms because you frequently have to update them? With WorkMax mobile FORMS, you can instantly update pick list options or fields on a form, so that your employees are filling out the most current form and you get the data you need. With WorkMax mobile FORMS, you can use many types of different field types to control how employees enter information into a form to improve data accuracy. WorkMax mobile FORMS lets you set up pick lists, multiple choice pick lists, and formula fields for accurate calculations to provide you with the most accurate information.

 

Illegible Handwriting Signature

 

 Illegible Handwriting – Everyone hates filling out forms, because it takes too long, right? This causes people to rush when they’re filling out forms and their handwriting becomes unreadable. They also rush because they also feel like they have higher value job duties that are related to their productivity to perform. They want to get back to what they deem is their work for the day. Very similar to the missing information on forms, if you can’t read it, then it’s just as bad as having no information at all. With Workmax mobile FORMS, the only handwriting you have on a form is their signature, and it doesn’t matter if you can’t read that. WorkMax mobile FORMS takes care of all of the problems of illegible handwriting on paper forms because all of the text fields are typed in, so there’s no messy handwriting.

 

 

   

View Video Green                       Get Pricing Orange