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iDOL - Keeping Track of Hours in the Workplace

In the age of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, businesses and individuals are finding new ways to make their lives simpler. Apple's App Store now offers over half a million apps, many of which are free or are only $0.99. These apps can entertain us, connect us to others, pay our bills, turn on our car or even tell us the name of the song playing over the radio. We can now add the Department of Labor  ("DOL") to the list of developers with apps available in Apple's App Store for free download. The app. In 2011, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division released its first app, DOL Timesheet. DOL Timesheet allows employees to record their hours worked and calculate the amount of wages that may be owed by their employer. The calculations include overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay as provided for by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). See 29 U.S.C. ยง 207.

How it works. DOL Timesheet works like a typical punch clock. After adding an employer, users simply start a timer when they begin to work, stop the timer at the end of the work day, and keep track of uninterrupted break periods all with the press of a button. At the end of the workweek, users can then create a summary which displays regular hours, overtime hours, regular pay, overtime pay and gross pay. Why tracking your time is important. When an employee brings a claim for unpaid overtime under the FLSA, the employee must first demonstrate she has performed work for which she alleges she was not compensated. Harvill v. Westward Commc'ns, L.L.C., 433 F.3d 428, 441 (5th Cir. 2005). Often, an employer does not keep accurate time records, or does not keep records at all. Because tracking one's time in the workplace is ordinarily not the employee's responsibility, the courts only require the employee show essentially a reasonable estimate of time worked. See id. DOL Timesheet is designed to meet this initial burden, putting the ball back in the employer's court to show the precise hours of work performed by the employee if the employer claims they are less than that alleged by the employee. DOL Timesheet is not a substitute for an attorney. While this app may be a helpful aid in keeping track of the hours worked, it does not encompass the many complexities of the FLSA. As previously covered here and here, the FLSA is perhaps the most violated employment law in the country. DOL Timesheet does not provide for tips, commissions, bonuses, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and other considerations that should normally be taken into account when calculating an employee's regular rate of pay. So, before downloading the newest iAnything app, consult an expert in employment law, and ensure you are being properly compensated for all the hours you've worked. AWR

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