Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Department of Labor App Allows Employees to Track Hours Worked and Wages

The US Department of Labor has released a free application for iPhones and iTouch that will assist employees in tracking their hours worked, meal periods and rest breaks, overtime and wages owed. The application is titled "DOL-Timesheet" and is available for free on the apple website, and is expected to be released soon for other phones. This application will provide workers a valuable tool to establish their wage and hour claims where the employer has failed to keep accurate records. Under the FLSA and California labor law, employees can establish wage claims by reasonable inference where accurate records are not available.

In Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680, 687 (1946) the court recognized that employees may establish their claims by reasonable estimates and averages. The court found, "Where the employer's records are inaccurate or inadequate and the employee cannot offer convincing substitutes ... the solution ... is not to penalize the employee ... on the ground that he is unable to prove the precise extent of uncompensated work. Such a result would place a premium on an employer's failure to keep proper records ... it would allow the employer to keep the benefits of an employee's labors without paying due compensation as contemplated by the [FLSA]." Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680, 687 (1946).

This application will provide a much more accurate record of hours worked and strong evidence for courts to estimate the claims of other employees. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis stated "This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay." The Labor Department indicated the calculator will be updated to allow workers to keep track of their tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest. The application can be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/ or on itunes.