New Technology for Employers Provides Efficient Record Keeping, Aids Worker Satisfaction and Prevents Claims

Shawna Speake Reliable Business Technology

Employee claims are on the rise making it critical to document your labor law compliance.  Does your timekeeping method keep you out of hot water?  Key employee considerations to document:

  • Record meal breaks
  • Actual worked hours
  • Accurate overtime
  • Seventh day worked
  • Injury notification
  • Training
  • License expiration
  • Safety training
  • Paid sick leave
  • Verified employee attendance

To meet these requirements, an automated time clock system is a crucial decision to safeguard your business.

Check Your Compliance

You might say, “Wait…that sounds complex and costly!  Don’t you know the challenges the dairy industry is facing?”  Yes, all too well.  Unfortunately, the stakes are high and litigation is costly both financially and to your good name.  No one wants to be portrayed as taking advantage of their employees or to have to pay for wage and hour claims because you missed something. Sound documentation means you are less attractive to predatory wage and hour claims, and you can easily deliver precious history to prove your compliance.  Finding the right partner to provide a simple to use and efficient time clock system often pays for itself within months and can save wasted data entry hours, increase office efficiency, provide accuracy, and interface easily with your payroll.

Modern Tracking

With increasing litigation, dairies should insist on biometric time clocks.  Biometrics means that the time clock relies on the unique features of each employee’s finger, face or hand to clock in and out.  If buddy punching occurs at your dairy, a biometric time clock stops it immediately.  You don’t have time to watch video cameras or monitor employees throughout the day, so your time clock should stop another person from covering for your employee.   You must ensure your payroll goes to the right person reflecting their actual worked hours. In California, you can catch unplanned seventh consecutive day of work overtime issues due to employees swapping shifts.  Some time clocks can even restrict an employee from clocking back in early which can prevent short lunch meal premiums.

Take Control

Attestation is a recent entry for time clock options and is quickly becoming a standard for dairies. When an employee attests or agrees at the time clock, they are acknowledging daily to activities like:

  • Hours worked
  • Breaks
  • Lunch that is late, short, missing, or interrupted
  • Injury on the job
  • Anything the clock is configured to record

If there was a problem, the time clock alerts you to the issue to be solved.  Don’t be blindsided by an injury claim that is weeks old, or worse yet, that you didn’t know had happened.  Using a biometric time clock, you identify the employee and track their work history to their individual time card – all available with the click of a button on the dashboard for easy review.

Avoiding Costly Issues

Don’t let an employee’s short lunch or missed overtime leave you vulnerable to a nasty lawsuit.  Wage and hour claims are costly and painful to experience.  Ask your attorney or labor advisor and you’ll hear that accurate timekeeping is critical.  An automated timekeeping system will prevent you from hunting down paper time cards, and you’ll gain quick access to worked hours, overtime and any problems such as a missed punch.  Put an end to last-minute surprises or scrambling with time cards on payroll day!

Mobile App on The Move

Do you have a farming division with drivers and irrigators moving about?  Tracking a handful of employees on the go can be tricky.  It is especially important in California where irrigators will be eligible for overtime in 2019, which is a game changer for many.   Mobile Apps for Android, iPhone or tablets can provide:

  • Easy in and out punch at the work site
  • Transfers between sites
  • Transfers between tasks
  • License renewals flagged
  • GPS

Do you wonder how employees are spending their work time? It’s easy to find out with GPS, which shows you where employees are located when clocking in and out or transferring between sites or tasks.  If internet access is a challenge, there are Apps that can work in offline mode, so you never miss a beat.  If the mobile app has connectivity, the punches will reach you in real time.

Overtime Calculations

Simply paying a day rate or a salary to employees isn’t enough to avoid a law suit and comply with wage and hour regulations.  Even if only one employee works just one minute past an overtime threshold, you must document it and pay accordingly.  A good time and attendance time clock system can automate overtime alerts and provide the daily and weekly calculations that apply to the employees in your state.  With changing overtime rules, working with your timekeeping partner is critical and should be simple so updates are made to the automation and you stay current and compliant with wage and hour changes.  To miss the needle in the haystack, for overtime or other wage and hour issues, can have costly consequences.

Automated Benefit Tracking

Tracking benefits, whether required or provided by choice, is another key area to evaluate:

  • Are your policies evenly applied to all employees?
  • Are you using a spreadsheet or calendar on the wall as your only method for tracking?

Accruals, an automated record of earned and used benefits, can keep you out of hot water and reduce the worry about missed dates.  In California, mandatory paid sick leave requires dairy owners to provide 3 days of leave per year.  The days can be given in advance or earned as the year progresses.  The most helpful time and attendance system will do the tracking for you and even alert you on a day of your choosing, so you make sure you give employees their benefits.  It will also prevent you for paying for more than promised, so you keep your budget on target.  Used and unused sick leave balances are easily forwarded to your payroll for pay stub requirements.

Gaps Are Costly

Do you have hidden gaps that exist in your current timekeeping process?  Check with your attorney or labor advisor about your policies so you can uncover specific risks that might exist for your dairy.  By implementing a time clock system that records your compliance needs accurately, you can stop the problem before an employee files a claim with some big city attorney.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure still holds true.  Reactive action is costly, so be proactive about record keeping accuracy and you will have put up a fortress to protect your dairy.

Shawna Speake

Shawna Speake is a Time and Attendance Specialist with Reliable Business Technology, providing fully automated employee time and labor tracking for the dairy and ag businesses.  A graduate of CSU Fresno in Business Administration, she has spent the last 17 years consulting with business owners to protect and grow their operations. Shawna is also a citrus farmer in the San Joaquin Valley. She may be contacted at (559) 513-8615, [email protected]

RBT’s focus is helping your business develop solutions in a way that most effectively helps you reach your goals. Our reliable tools are designed to help you efficiently manage your complex workforce and improve your business goals to increase productivity. Our team is glad to answer your questions about time clocks, compliance tracking, your specific dairy challenges and available resources. 

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Shawna Speake and/or Reliable Business Technology do not provide legal advice.  If you have questions regarding employment law, your attorney or labor advisor can assist you regarding federal, state and local requirements. 

1 Comment

  1. I think it’s absolutely right that the right time tracking tool will pay for itself. Nevertheless, the cost of biometric time tracking is probably prohibitive for many small, medium, and family owned businesses. BeeBole Timesheet is an easy to use and affordable tracking tool that will work on employees’ mobile devices, even without an internet connection. We’ve also created a page that will allow you to compare different tracking tools, and choose the best one for your business. You can take a look here: https://beesha.re/dairy_timetracking

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