DOL Introduces iPhone/Touch Application Allowing Employees to Track Hours Worked

On May 9, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it had created a free application for the iPhone/Touch to help employees track their hours worked and determine wages owed. The “app,” available in English and Spanish, is called DOL Timesheet and will eventually be available for other smartphone platforms such as Blackberry and Android. Although the app is somewhat limited in features right now, future versions will track tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, shift differentials, and other pay types.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has always been able to rely on an employee’s records in the absence of reliable data from the employer. But the DOL’s new app may lead to an increase in the number of employees who maintain timekeeping records that they do not share with their employers. Employers should consider including language in their timekeeping policies specifying that only timesheets submitted through the employer’s platform are “official,” and that employees who keep unofficial records (electronic or hard copy) must submit them to payroll or HR every pay period to ensure proper compensation. You may also wish to caution employees that these apps are not always accurate and that it is always your intent to capture time worked correctly.