April 1, 2015

department of labor app

Employees have direct access to Department Of Labor through Secret DOL App

The Dept. of Labor (DOL) has made available to all employees a Secret Time Keeping App for iPhones, featuring “One Tap” Access to File Complaints, and it is downloadable at the DOL website for free.

If you’ve seen our speakers or paid attention to any of CEDR’s training series, you’ve heard us discuss the importance of keeping accurate time records and understanding your state and federal rules around things like bonuses as wages, overtime, travel time, and seminar attendance to name a few.

ALL EMPLOYERS NEED TO BE AWARE that a free DOL app was released back in 2011, and strongly encourages employees to keep their own secret records of their time worked.

We’ve previously reported to you about the DOL’s zealous investigations of minor and outright false complaints. The huge uptick in complaints coincides with the DOL’s new web-based complaint filing system.

This means that when an employer lets an employee go for a legitimate reason, the employer still needs to face the strong possibility that the angry employee will file a complaint with the DOL, just to see what happens. DOL investigations are burdensome. You’re often asked to produce voluminous records and the kitchen sink. Honest mistakes get converted into re-compensation and fines. At best, you lose a considerable amount of production as you and your management team wade through the investigation. The DOL’s new “one tap” app makes it easier for employees to file complaints and makes your job harder.

The DOL stated in their news release:

“Users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time, and any overtime hours for one or more employers. This technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records.

“This information could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records.”

The app also provides “one tap” (or one “click”) access to filing a complaint with their local DOL, access to employment rules, and various other “special features” for employees.

This means the DOL is encouraging employees to keep a separate, non-verifiable record of their time, without the accountability required from both the employee and the employer.

That is why it is absolutely critical to address the following:

  • Employers should consider explicitly telling employees through a written and acknowledged policy in their employee handbook how important it is to keep accurate time records and that falsifying time records will result in termination.
  • You must also require that employees report any discrepancies, questions about their time worked, or complaints to you promptly, therefore giving you an opportunity to address and correct any mistakes.

As employers, you must to keep the most credible, accurate version of the time records for our workplace. And do an internal audit and learn about salary exempt vs hourly non exempt.

Now go have a productive harmonious and lawsuit free day!

Questions or concerns? Call CEDR at 866-414-6056 or email us at info@cedrsolutions.com.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.