Posted on July 15, 2013

DOL Smartphone Apps: Little Brother is Watching

In recent years employers all over the nation have been facing an increase in Department of Labor (DOL) enforcement, especially from the Wage and Hour division (WHD). Government agencies are cracking down on violators now more than ever, resulting in more back wages and penalties being paid out by employers. For example, a recent WHD investigation recovered $232,000 in back wages and $30,000 in penalties from an Ohio business for minimum wage, overtime pay and record-keeping violations.

But WHD investigators aren’t the only people employers should beware of: thanks to today’s technology, employees and customers are more empowered than ever. Smartphone apps like the Department of Labor’s Timesheet app and Eat, Sleep, Shop make it possible.

Timesheet

This DOL app allows employees to independently track their hours and thus determine the wages they are owed, including overtime. The app empowers employees to ensure they are being paid correctly.

If they aren’t, they may be motivated to seek legal recourse. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, *7,064 federal wage and hour lawsuits were filed in 2012*—and that number does not include lawsuits on the state level. Using this app, employees can present their own evidence of hours worked.

Eat, Sleep, Shop

This app seeks to empower consumers to make informed decisions. Using this app, consumers can search for restaurants, hotels and retailers nearby and see ratings and reviews—as well as any labor violations. This is what senior DOL officials have referred to as “shaming,” and could result in lost business for the company in question.

With your history of violations easily visible to consumers at the very moment they are making a decision about where to eat, sleep or shop, it is critical to ensure your wage and hour practices are up to code.

Paycor has time and attendance applications for both large employers and small employers to help you stay out of the line of fire, save money and preserve your reputation. Contact us today to learn more.

_Sources: US Department of Labor, Seyfarth Shaw LLP