On May 9, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it had come up with a new application for smart phones that will help employee keep track of their overtime. The free app is currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Labor Department will explore updates that could enable similar versions for other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry, and other pay features not currently provided for, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, weekend pay, shift differential and pay for regular days of rest.
The Department of Labor had previously come up with printable work hour calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times so that employees would not have to rely on their employers’ records. That calendar also instructs employees as to their rights and how to file a wage and hour violation with the DOL. This is the first time the DOL has come up with a way for time to be electronically stored on employee’s phones.
The Department stated that it had launched “its first application for smartphones, a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed”. The application is available in English and Spanish and allows employees to “conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers”. According to the Department of Labor, the application includes a glossary, contact information and easily accessible materials about wage laws are through links to the Web pages of the department’s Wage and Hour Division.
The Department of Labor states that, through the app, “users will be able to add comments on any information related to their work hours; view a summary of work hours in a daily, weekly and monthly format; and email the summary of work hours and gross pay as an attachment”.
Employee’s tracking of hours on their smartphones will not be conclusive evidence of hours worked, however, the information they track could prove that an employer failed to keep accurate records of hours.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis stated that “This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.”
Both the app and the calendar can be downloaded from the Wage and Hour Division’s home Web page at http://www.dol.gov/whd.