What does the future of working look like? For many companies and workers, the future is all about flexibility. That’s one of the takeaways from a recent study, “The Millennial Mindset,” in which a whopping 92% of individuals said they want to work from home, while 91% said that flexible working — not being forced […]Read More >
Features to Help Support Wage and Hour Compliance Efforts When Adding Flex Work Options
- Brittney Kinley
Are flex work options the key to employee happiness, engagement, and even greater productivity? Some believe so.
- Flexible arrangements can give workers more options when it comes to their schedules.
- They can create new ways for employees to engage with the workplace.
- And, they can benefit your company, especially if they help foster a happier workforce.
However, adding flexible work options isn’t as simple as announcing at the next company meeting that you’re switching to a four-day workweek. Internally, there are a number of workflow and management issues to sort out.
There may also a be wage and hour compliance concerns to keep in mind.
We’ll look at some of these below, and discuss ways that your time & attendance software can help you navigate them.
Having flexible work options can be especially beneficial in the tech industry, where specialized project and management teams often include remote workers. Read our report, “Time and Attendance in the Tech Industry,” to discover other ways stratustime has been supporting tech firms since we started.
Managing wage and hour compliance issues can be a daunting challenge. With flex work options, things can become even trickier.
Things to consider include:
- Making sure remote workers accurately record the hours they work
- Staying compliant with state meal and break requirements
- Mitigating overtime situations
When adding flexible work options, establish clear and consistent policies that explain things like:
- Your company’s expectations of all remote workers, including work hours, recording time worked, breaks, time off, etc.;
- How managers and employees will collaborate; and
- Any updates or changes to your time & attendance policies.
Depending on your state’s wage and hours laws, here are three questions that come to mind:
1. Does your state require daily overtime pay?
In some states, covered employees must receive a premium rate of pay—time and one half their regular rate—when they work more than eight hours in a day. Premium pay may be required for other situations under state laws as well.
- Covered employees may be eligible for paid or unpaid meal periods and breaks of a certain frequency and duration.
- As an employer, you might also have to offer extra meal periods and breaks when shifts exceed a certain number of hours.
2. How do you handle meals, breaks, and actual work hours for remote employees?
For many remote workers, there’s little or no supervision when they’re on the clock. They self-direct their schedule, including meal periods, and short breaks.
- This can be a challenge in a non-structured environment, or when policies aren’t spelled out in writing.
- Without protocols in place, it can be easy for workers and managers to lose sight of what is required to comply with applicable wage and hour laws.
3. How do you handle make-up time?
Sometimes, remote workers want to pause work to handle a personal obligation. In their minds, they might think they can catch up on things later. However, when an employer permits an employee to make up missed time, they should be aware of applicable wage and hour laws:
- Overtime pay is calculated by workweek. When an employee misses time during one workweek, but attempts to make up the time in another workweek, this will likely result in overtime pay. As an employer, you might want to require workers to make up their missed time during the same workweek. This can help minimize overtime situations.
- Depending on your state’s overtime laws, you might want to limit employee schedules to a maximum number of hours per day and per week to mitigate overtime hours. Hours worked over that maximum may result in overtime pay.
A dedicated time & attendance software like stratustime offers workers, managers, and administrators features and functionality that can help support wage & hour compliance efforts.
As a central workforce management tool, stratustime can help you in your efforts to avoid potential wage & hour issues related to your remote workers.
For starters, the software simplifies how remote workers handle a number of operational and reporting tasks via PCs, laptops, tablets, or other mobile devices. Among these include:
- clocking in and out
- tracking time
- syncing personal and work schedules
- submitting mileage expense reimbursements related to meetings and other work functions
- moving between projects while using the right project codes
Meanwhile, stratustime’s team of programmers, technicians, and compliance experts are always working in the background. That includes staying up on current wage & hour developments.
- Compliance professionals monitor regulatory changes that impact the features and functionality we offer clients. They monitor regulatory developments related to retirement, insurance, paid sick leave, wage & hour and more.
Finally, a number of stratustime’s native features can help you manage remote workers in ways that can support your compliance with applicable laws, and also align with your company’s policies.
- Remote workers can log in and out using facial recognition features on their iOS or Android devices. The feature accurately captures their punch information to help ensure that they are on the clock when they say they are.
- Alerts can notify you when a remote worker is late punching in or does not punch in at all.
- Use geotracking and geotagging features to verify remote workers’ punch locations. You can also designate or disallow specific places as viable clock-in/out areas.
- Alerts can notify you when employees are approaching daily or weekly overtime limits. This can be useful in managing overtime costs.
- Project codes and wage information can accurately capture rates across projects.
- Reports help identify task breakdowns for remote workers.
Remote and flex work options might be attractive to workers. However, keeping track of your remote workforce, along with wage & hour issues, can be challenging. Rely on stratustime to help you manage your workforce, and stay confident every time remote and flex workers clock in and out.
Workforce management solutions come in all shapes and sizes. As your dedicated time & attendance software, stratustime can help to support you in your efforts to manage your workforce in a way that’s compliant with applicable wage & hours laws. Contact us today to learn more.