Proper timekeeping records can help defend against wage claims

| Nov 16, 2020 | Employment Law For Employers |

Wages are a cornerstone of any employment arrangement. The people a company hires will expect to receive their compensation in full and on time, and companies can attract the best staff possible by offering competitive wages to skilled workers.

Paying employees as promised is one of the most basic obligations that a company has to its staff, and it is likely one that your company fulfills dutifully. Still, you could find yourself facing claims of non-payment by a former or current employee.

Employees who do not believe they have received the appropriate amount of compensation can bring wage claims against their employers. Your company can protect itself from spurious or inaccurate unpaid wage claims by being transparent with employees about your benefit or commission structure, posting clear information about when the workweek starts and ends, and retaining timeclock records as required under federal law. 

Your timeclock records can quickly exonerate your company

The more accurate the timekeeping system you use, the harder it will be for staff members to claim that they didn’t get paid for all of the time that they worked. Digital or computerized timekeeping systems can record when an employee starts and ends their shifts down to a fraction of a second.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, your company has an obligation to retain employment records, including timeclock records, for at least three years. Those records can serve as a point of comparison for claims made by employees and they quickly refute allegations of unpaid wages.

Wage claims sometimes stem from confusion or mistakes

Employee claims about unpaid wages, particularly those related to overtime, sometimes stem from an individual’s confusion about a company’s policy or practices.

For example, a worker might assume that they should receive overtime pay because they believe they have worked more than 40 hours in a given pay period. However, if you start your workweek on a different day than the employee thinks you do, that could explain the discrepancy in your expectations regarding overtime.

Clear documentation regarding when the workweek starts and ends can make it easier for you to avoid unnecessary overtime or wage claims by your workers. Accurate records can help you defend the business against such claims.