Business Owners and Managers spend countless hours monitoring employee hours and making necessary corrections or adjustments, however it is crucial that this process is managed in a compliant manner.
While employee timecard fraud is a major concern, business owners and managers need to address these occurrences properly. Should an employee report that he or she worked more hours than they actually did, the employer “should not” alter the offender’s timecard.
According to a recent court ruling and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) supervisors have personal liability for altering pay records if it’s to the disadvantage of the employee. This means that a supervisor can be sued by the employee under such circumstances. Therefore, business owners and managers should cease any existing practice of showing tolerance, encouraging of off-the-clock work, or altering employee time sheets.
Here’s some simple rules of thumb on how to avoid wage litigation:
• Hold each employee accountable for their time management. If the employee is not managing his/her own time well and it is resulting in overtime, then it’s a discipline matter; not a pay issue.
• Prohibit off-the clock work by non-exempt workers. You may not realize it, but non-exempt workers checking work emails from their phones and taking phone calls after hours is compensable time. Employers need documented rules on work conducted via smart phones, home computers, and other electronic communication devices after hours for your hourly employees.
• Provide employees with uninterrupted lunch breaks. Even if the employee voluntarily answers the phone during the lunch hour, by law, the employee must be paid for that time.
• Never auto-deduct time for lunch.
• Make employees responsible for recording their own time for any break that exceeds 20 minutes in duration.
For more information on FLSA, EEOC, DOL, and wage and hour compliance matters, please consult with your HR Consultant or contact the LL Roberts Group (toll free) at 877.878.6463 and find out how a PEO can assist you and your company.