Wage Theft: The importance of record keeping – National Consumers League

Looking to recoup lost wages? Having accurate work records can make the difference between whether or not you get what you are owed.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does require that employers keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid to employees. However, the FLSA does not require an employer to provide employees with pay stubs. In order to have a more successful wage theft investigation outcome, an employee needs to keep track of hours worked. The record should keep track of:

  • Name of company
  • Manager/owner name
  • Hours worked
  • Rate of pay
  • Start & stop times
  • Arrival & departure times

Tools from the U.S. Department of Labor

App for smartphones

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the launch of its first application for smartphones, a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records. This information would prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records.

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, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.

Printable web calendar

For workers without a smartphone, the Wage and Hour Division has a printable work hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers’ rights and how to file a wage violation complaint.

For more information regarding record keeping please contact the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division at www.wagehour.dol.gov or call the toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866- 4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

Source – U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division