Federal Overtime Rule from 2016, Is It Dead for Hourly Employee Time Tracking?

By: Shannon Corgan, WorkMax Marketing Director 

Have you been wondering what’s going on with the 2016 Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rule that was supposed to go into effect December 1, 2016?

The current minimum salary an employee can be exempt from overtime pay is $23,660 a year and the new overtime rule would have made the salary minimum $47,476 a year. This means that 4.2 million workers between $23,660 and $47,476 annual salary could begin earning overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a week. Currently, the 4.2 million workers between the current minimum salary threshold and the newly proposed minimum annual salary threshold of  $47,476 are currently exempt from receiving overtime pay.

Within hours of the new overtime rules effective date of December 1, 2016, a federal court injunction was issued. Finally, the DOL decided in June 2017 to stop fighting the federal court injunction for the new overtime rule. Most of the pushback to the new overtime rule came from businesses. If the new overtime rule was put into effect, businesses were concerned about the financial impact of paying overtime for the first time to employees that were previously exempt from overtime pay.   

On July 26th, 2017 the DOL issued a Request for Information (RFI) to ask employers and employees to offer feedback regarding the new overtime rule proposed in 2016. Comments were accepted until September 25, 2017, but you can still read the comments that were posted. In reviewing several hundred of the over 140,000 comments, many of the comments posted on the RFI overwhelmingly favoring an increase in the salary threshold to $47,476. Here's one of the most common posts to the RFI:  

"Back in 1975, President Gerald Fords Labor Department set the salary level for overtime exemption at the equivalent of about $58,000 in today's dollars high enough to cover more than 50 percent of full-time salaried workers. The Obama-era rule set it at $47,476 high enough to cover about 34 percent of full-time salaried employees but lower than the level that it was in the 1970s. That's why the salary threshold should be at least $47,476; and without indexing, the overtime pay rule will continue to erode and not keep pace with inflation.

When fully implemented, this updated rule extends overtime eligibility to 4.9 million more working people and makes it harder for employers to deny overtime to another 7.6 million working people who are already eligible.

I urge the Department of Labor to implement the new overtime rule, keep the salary threshold at least $47,476 and keep the indexing to protect the rights and wages of working people. The whole point of having national standards is to ensure decent basic standards for all workers. The updated overtime standard is already linked to the lowest-wage Census region. Workers rights and wages should not be undercut even further by weakening the salary threshold."

With the DOL no longer fighting the federal court injunction of the new overtime rule and their Request for Information regarding the overtime rule, where are we now and what can we expect? It’s most likely that the DOL will go back to the drawing board and propose an increase in the salary threshold above the current minimum of $23,660, but it’s doubtful that they will raise the minimum salary threshold to $47,476. Additionally, they will also give employers more time to comply with the new overtime rules compared to 2016. During Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta’s Senate confirmation hearing in March, he thought the correct threshold might be around $33,000 and stated the expansion of the 2016 federal overtime rules went too far and exceeded its authority. Based on the Labor Secretary's statement in his Senate confirmation hearings and looking at the comments from the RFI, we should all expect to see some changes coming in the near future, so you should start your planning now. 


To learn how to simplify your overtime calculations and automate employee time tracking, view a demo or watch a video. 

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3 Hidden Money Leaks in your Business Solved with Employee Time Tracking

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 

You know that your business processes aren’t streamlined as you would like. With less than optimal business processes, it’s taking employees more time to do their jobs than necessary and your employees’ time is your money. When you have so many fires to put out each day, it’s difficult to stop what you’re doing to analyze all the current business processes for your entire business. It can be overwhelming to know which area of your business to focus on, to map out your current processes with the goal of researching technology to automate manual processes.

When the idea of analyzing your whole business seems daunting, I’d recommend focusing on one process that impacts the greatest number of your employees in the organization to find the hidden cash flow leaks. Your employee time tracking and payroll process is a great place to start, because it affects all of the employees in your business.

If you are using paper time sheets or spreadsheets, here are the top 3 hidden money leaks in your business:

Overestimate Time1. Overestimated Time Worked:

When you are using paper time cards or spreadsheets, you are not getting the actual time the employee started work and finished work. According to a Robert Half Survey and APA survey, 4.5 hours are lost each week when employees overestimate their hours worked. Your company is also losing money when employees overestimate lunches or breaks, arriving late or leaving early, or conducting personal business. Their time is your money. This is a constant, slow drip like a leaky faucet sending your money down the drain. Keep in mind, if the overestimated time pushes your employee into overtime, the loss to your company is compounded. It’s an even bigger loss to your company when you include all direct employee expenses like payroll taxes, worker’s compensation, liability insurance, and benefits, all of which are based off of labor and time reported.

To see how much the overestimated time is leaking out of your business, check out our Employee Time Tracking Savings Calculator. You will be shocked at the monthly and annual amount of money you are throwing down the drain with spreadsheets and paper time cards. To stop that leaky money faucet, you need an automated time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME that employees can access on any device from anywhere with GPS. This will allow you to know where your employees are when they are clocking IN/OUT stop the constant drip of money down the drain. Capturing their actual hours worked in real time with WorkMax TIME from any device, anywhere, anytime will stop the flow of money leaking out of your business. 

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2. Human Error

Another business process that is a drain on your cash flow is human error. Your employees are human and make keying mistakes when they manually type data from paper time cards or spreadsheets into your payroll or accounting systems. Unfortunately, when your payroll team is forced to read handwritten time card records, there are also going to be errors and mistakes calculating an employee’s hours from a paper time cards or errors on a spreadsheet. According to the APA, manual time card computation errors can cost your business 1% to 8% of your annual gross payroll.

Use the WorkMax TIME Savings Calculator to see how much money you are throwing down the drain due to human error. WorkMax TIME eliminates any manual keying of employee time tracking data into payroll or accounting systems, because your employees are clocking their time from their mobile devices in real time. WorkMax TIME integrates with most accounting and payroll systems to eliminate human error. Additionally, all the calculations for payroll are correct the first time because an automated time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME, does all the math for straight time, overtime, and multiple pay rates. 

Manual Processes3. Manual Processes 

The third way that you're leaking money out of your business is by using paper time cards and error prone spreadsheets. When using paper time cards and spreadsheets, your payroll employees have to key in the data and audit it. The APA says it takes your payroll employee five to six minutes to add and audit one time card. This cost adds up as you add new employees and payroll staff to support them. To see how much this could be costing your business, view our Top 3 Savings with Automated Time infographic to see the financial impact on a fifty person company. This entire manual process of auditing and entering employees’ time card can be completely be eliminated with WorkMax TIME.


Once you find these hidden money leaks from overestimated employee time, human error, and manual processes for employee time tracking, you’ll be well on your way to look at other manual and paper processes in your organization. You would be amazed at how much paper forms are costing your business and how you can use mobile forms to increase revenue for your company. To learn more about WorkMax FORMS, check out a short video

Get started today and find out the money you're leaking out of your business with paper timecards and spreadsheets for employee time tracking. Click here to calculate your savings or view a Workmax TIME Demo

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Lets Get Real Real Time Tracking with ACTIONABLE insights to keep your projects on track. 8

12 Reasons to Track Time and Tasks in Real Time
By: Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 

Last week we talked about the financial benefits of tracking time entry in real time with after-the-fact allocation of tasks by your supervisors or employees to boost profits. While allocating tasks, units or cost codes after the fact is a good estimate, for an even more accurate time and task tracking, you really want to have your employees do it in real time. Why do you want your highly paid project managers or supervisors spending their time recapping what your employees did all day? Who would be better to do it than the employees as they are switching between tasks? WorkMax TIME Real-Time Entry with Real-Time Allocation is the most accurate way to track your employees' time and allocate tasks, units, cost codes or phase codes. 

Learn how you can help your team become proactive, not reactive with an employee time tracking solution that tracks time and tasks in real time. Here are 12 Reasons to Track Time and Tasks in Real Time: 


Projects get completed within budget because you know your labor costs in real time. Keeping projects on budget becomes easy when labor costs are managed as it happens, in real time.

With accurate real-time allocation of labor costs to a project, you get paid faster. There are no delays going back and forth between your employees and accounting to create invoices for billable work. The faster accounting creates accurate invoices, the faster you get paid.

Reduces Overtime costs because employees and supervisors can easily see in real time when employees are approaching overtime. No more’ “OOPS, we went into OT." Your employee and supervisors can see how many hours they've worked. 


Automatically calculates the amount of time spent on each tasks with accuracy. There’s no errors in calculating the amount time it takes to complete a task. 


Get the EXACT amount of time it took your employees to accomplish the tasks on the projects to better estimate for future projects. With exact numbers, you can bid lower to win more business and STILL make a profit.

You get the actual time an employee clocks IN/OUT and where they were at when they clocked IN/OUT. You pay employees fairly for the time they actually work. No more estimating time worked or rounding time to the quarter hour or estimated time by your employees.

7Exclude travel time or the time it takes an employee to walk to their car before they clock out of work for the day with GPS location and GEO Fence. Know where employees are when they clock IN and OUT and only pay them for the time they are working while at the job, project or client where the work is supposed to be performed. Reduce labor costs with GPS location and GEO Fence.

8Know how much work was truly completed on the project when employees enter units completed in real time. You can add additional resources as soon as you need them. You don’t have to wait until the end of the day or the end of the week to understand when and where labor is needed, so it’s completed on time.  

Identify your top performing employees working on the same tasks and identify best practices by tracking labor in real time. Share best practices to finish your projects more quickly and make your clients happy. 

Use time and task tracking productivity to implement incentive programs or reward employees that are most productive for your business. Keep employees motivated by rewarding them when they finish tasks in real time instead of waiting until the end of long projects. Happy employees get more work done and work harder.

With real time visibility into tasks and units completed, you can finish your projects ahead of schedule and WOW your clients. Happy clients mean more business for you.

12Get nearly 100% accuracy for job costs with real-time cost codes or tasks, as its happening by your employees. No more guess work later or relying on employees’ memories when allocating costs to the right cost center, task or codes. No need for phone calls or emails to get accurate job costs. Your accounting team spends less time tracking down information and they get more work done. 

As you can see, entry of time, task tracking, units completed and accurate cost code tracking gives you the most accurate way to complete your projects on time (and likely ahead of schedule) and on or under budget. When employees enter time in as it happens and allocate tasks, units, cost centers, or phase codes at the same time, you know what’s going on with your projects. You  know exactly what is going on with your projects and you can access this information from anywhere, anytime, 24/7/365.

View our five minute video to see how easy it is to track time and allocate tasks in real time.

If your company is looking to automate your employee time tracking with a digital time sheet, check out the 3 Reasons Why People Prefer Digital Time Sheets Blog. To learn more about the three time entry workflows included with WorkMax Time, view our three videos to find the right match for your company. The great thing with WorkMax TIME, you can use one, two or all three workflows to meet the demands of your business today or as you grow.