The U.S. Department of Labor recently launched a new smartphone application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that makes it more convenient for employees to assure they are being paid for all hours worked and getting the right pay for those hours. The DOL Timesheet app enables workers to track regular work hours, break time, and overtime hours.
Additionally, employees can add comments, view a summary of their work hours, and email the summary and gross pay as an attachment. An employment attorney, who represents corporations, did not react as enthusiastically to the application as some. The attorney stated that “[her] practice is to avoid disputes in general” and this “is encouraging people to create disputes over what should not be disputable.”
Labor officials said that the app is intended to empower workers to stand up for their rights when they are not paid for all hours worked. “Now, instead of relying on employer records, employees can keep their own records wherever they are.” The new application could prove to be invaluable for those employees disputing the hours worked or rate of pay.
Employers are legally required to maintain payroll records, which include the rate of pay and hours worked. The Department of Labor noted that not all employers comply with this law and “[t]he record an employee keeps is one kind of evidence that [the Department of Labor] look[s] at to determine what hours were worked and what the employee was paid for those hours.” Giving employees the tools to track hours and wages on a smartphone is certainly a step up from recording it “on a napkin or the back of a hand.”
The Department of Labor expects to launch similar applications for other smartphones such as Android and BlackBerry. For workers without a smartphone, the Department of Labor has a printable calendar to track rate of pay and hours worked, which includes easy-to-understand information about workers’ rights and how to file a wage violation complaint.