Weekly HR News - Tracking Time for Nonexempt Employees

Weekly HR News –

Tracking Time for Nonexempt Employees

The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that all time worked by nonexempt (hourly) employees must be tracked.  However, the FLSA does not require employers to use specific time-recording devices such as time cards, clocks, or other systems. As long as employers maintain an accurate record of all time worked by nonexempt employees in every employer-defined workweek, they can choose which time-recording device best suits their needs. The recordkeeping requirements also mandate that employers are must keep records showing the number of hours worked each workday and workweek, the employee’s regular hourly pay rate, total straight-time and overtime earnings for each workweek, and any deductions from pay.

In order to assure accuracy, be sure to have employees and managers sign off on time records.  This step can be very helpful when used as a preventative practice in the event there are questions later down the road. All employees should review time entries on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to ensure that information is properly recorded. Managers should review employee time cards as well to certify their accuracy and address any inconsistencies immediately with employees in question.

Anytime that corrections or changes are made to an employee timecard make sure that notes addressing the change are kept with the timecard.  If the city is audited or is involved in litigation, it can be very helpful to have detailed records regarding why certain changes were made to employees' time records.  It is also a good idea to have a proper reporting procedure in place to ensure that errors are properly addressed.

If an employee fails to submit timesheets on time, the best practice is to pay them based on what they were scheduled to work (to ensure timely payment of wages) and then make any corrections (more or less) on the following pay period.  In this case, the city should also attach a detailed note stating that the timesheet was not submitted on time, pursuant to city policy, and the reason if known.

Also keep in mind that managers and employees should be trained in proper timekeeping practices for nonexempt employees and be sure to thoroughly explain the prohibition against off-the-clock work. Including this training as part of the city’s new employee and manager orientation ensures that each person receives standardized information about the rules. Periodic reminders and additional training can also be very helpful to ensure that the time and attendance policy is followed.

Lastly, employers are required to display an official poster outlining the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as the Kentucky wage and hour laws poster.  These posters are available electronically for free downloading and printing at http://www.dol.gov/osbp/sbrefa/poster/main.htm and http://labor.ky.gov/dows/doesam/Documents/KY%20Wage%20and%20Hour%20Laws.pdf.

For questions on wage and hour issues or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main with the KLC Legal Department.