What is Wage and Hour Compliance?

Defining Wage and Hour Compliance

Say the word compliance in a crowd of business people, and it’s possible you’ll hear words like “bureaucracy” or “red tape” murmur across the room. You may also prompt a few questions, starting with “What kind of compliance are you talking about?”

For many professionals, the word compliance sometimes equates to “losing time from doing essential business things in order to make sure we’re up to code on federal and state regulations.”

For Adrian Pop, Regional Sales Executives for nettime solutions, compliance can spill over into three other c-words.

“Wage and hour compliance is often complicated,” he says. “It can consume your time. And unfortunately, when you’re non-compliant, it can be costly.”

Wage and Hour Compliance is a Big Deal

“There’s simply no avoiding it,” Pop says. “And for many businesses and organizations, grappling with compliance issues simply comes with the territory.”

One of the issues facing small businesses where compliance is concerned is the fact that many find themselves doing more of it than ever, while their resources to do so have flattened out, or even decreased.

“Small businesses make up the majority of all employers in the U.S.,” Pop says.  “Compliance-related issues can have a huge impact on business development, not to mention day-to-day workflow and productivity.”

“Compliance is always a big deal,” says Paula Schubel, Establishment Manager with an import and distribution firm with operations in California. “It’s the number one cause of employer liability in California,” she says, adding that the majority of employee-filed lawsuits have to do with wage and hour issues.

No employer wants to go to court with an employee.

“It could be a simple misunderstanding,” as Schubel puts it, “or because something wasn’t tracked correctly, or even because you have a disgruntled employee who wants to get even about something.”

Why Finding a Flexible Time & Attendance System is Key to Maintaining Wage and Hour Compliance

When Schubel started in her new position, one of her main focuses was managing payroll across two related but separate business entities. She instantly started digging into the company’s time and attendance software. It wasn’t long before she saw that the limitations of their previous system were putting the company at risk.

“It wasn’t set up to accommodate what we needed to meet applicable federal and state requirements,” she says. Among the issues Schubel discovered included:

  • The system did not produce the comprehensive downloads or reports they needed.
  • It was not tracking things such as breaks, meals, and other essential pieces related to wage and hour compliance.
  • The company’s handling of vacation time was still very manual, and wasn’t completely integrated into the system.
  • Meanwhile, sick time wasn’t being managed at all.

“Luckily, we found a time & attendance system that handles these things for us. And it does so in a very clear and easy fashion.”

For Schubel, the answer was stratustime. You can read more about her story, and how stratustime helped bring her and her company peace of mind, in our recent case study, “Clock In on Compliance.“

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With stratustime in tow, Schubel can keep track of separate payroll groups, and make sure things like overtime and breaks are captured correctly. She can also set the system to send her alerts so that she knows when employees are approaching overtime, or even when they’re taking breaks and punching in.

“In a business reality where there’s so much emphasis on compliance, your solutions need to be as flexible as possible,” says Pop. “We’ve always focused on flexibility with our products.”

“There are a million ways we can track things with stratustime,” Schubel says. “We’ve even customized the system so at the end of the pay period, employees review and sign off on their own time cards. All they need to do is check a box where it states they agree that they took their breaks and that the time worked is accurate as reported.

“This extra level of oversight can make a world of difference in terms of maintaining our compliance.”

With ever-changing wage and hour regulations, a flexible, easy-to-administer time & attendance solution can save you hours and hours of manual entry time—not to mention minimize your stress. stratustime’s simple and flexible time and attendance solution can help non-profits and small to mid-sized businesses in their effort to stay compliant. Give us a call, and we’ll put stratustime on the clock for you.

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