Volume 10, Issue 5
May 11, 2011
On May 9, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the launch of its first smartphone application that will allow employees to independently track the hours they work and the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, the application allows users to track regular work hours, break times and any overtime hours for one or more employers. Application users are able to view summaries of hours worked in daily, weekly and monthly formats and can add personal comments to such summaries. The new smartphone application includes a prominent "contact us" button with links that allow users to easily call or send e-mail to the DOL. It also allows employees to easily send the summaries of their hours worked and gross pay as e-mail attachments.
This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers' records, employees can now easily maintain their own records. In its press release, the DOL indicated that such employee-gathered information could prove to be "invaluable" when investigating employers who do not maintain accurate employment records. Indeed, DOL Secretary Hilda Solis is quoted as saying that, "This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay."
The DOL's free smartphone application is currently compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. However, DOL is exploring similar versions for other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry. Further, the DOL plans to add more application features, such as those related to tracking and computing tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.
For workers without a smartphone, DOL has a printable work calendar in both English and Spanish for employees to track their rate of pay, work start/stop times, and arrival/departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers' rights and how to file a wage violation complaint.
Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.