Employers at risk for off-the-clock work and poor record keeping

| Jan 28, 2021 | Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) |

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) obligates employers in Pennsylvania to meet legal standards regarding minimum wage and overtime pay. Additionally, the rules require employers to maintain records for nonexempt workers, specifically their daily work hours and total weekly hours.

As a business owner or manager, you should have an appropriate time-keeping system and prevent off-the-clock work. Such actions could limit the possibility of wage-and-hour claims or other FLSA violations.

Employers responsible for record keeping

The FLSA actually grants quite a bit of flexibility in how you keep time records for your employees. You may:

  • Use timesheets
  • Install automated time-keeping systems
  • Have workers punch time clocks
  • Allow workers to fill out timesheets
  • Have supervisors fill out timesheets

However you go about this, the law places the responsibility on the employer to set up an accurate time-keeping system. Maintaining accurate and complete records of hours worked could improve your position should employees make a complaint to regulators or file a lawsuit for unpaid time.

What is off-the-clock work?

When nonexempt workers exceed 40 hours in a workweek, they have a legal right to time-and-half overtime pay. Managers who try to avoid this expense sometimes tell nonexempt workers to perform duties after they clock out. Workers suing a fast-food franchise have stated this offense among their allegations in a lawsuit. The plaintiffs claim that they worked roughly 15 extra hours per week without the employer recording the time.

State and local labor laws

The FLSA is a federal employment, but you may have state and local laws to navigate as well. When preparing your company policies or responding to a lawsuit, you should investigate whether you are complying with all applicable employment laws. An experienced employment law attorney can help you do that, as well as protect your interests if a dispute arises.

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