Time and Labor Management Systems
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Create and Assign Schedules in Blueforce

Step by Step Guide: How to Create and Assign Schedules in Blueforce Use the Blueforce scheduling module to assign employees to work, indicating when an employee should work and where. Schedules are used for rounding of time and noting exceptions like early arrivals, late arrivals and no shows. Select Shifts & Schedules from the Blueforce
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Time Tracking Needs for the Distributed Workforce

Why Your Industry Might Need Automated Time and Attendance If your company employs hourly workers who are spread across various worksites or travel to multiple locations, you know the struggle of manual time tracking. You’re constantly hit with rising labor expenses due to time rounding, paper time card processing, and the inability to accurately track
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Do You Round Employee Hours? Make Sure You’re Following the Federal Department of Labor Laws When Doing So!

Rounding employee time has proven to be much more realistic than counting minutes. It is important that when you round employee hours it is not benefitting solely the employer or employee. Not following the Federal Department of Labor Laws can be expensive. There are numerous penalties that an employer can incur if an employee is
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New ACA Monthly Reporting Requirements Drive the Need for Time and Attendance

Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses that qualify as “Applicable Large Employers” (ALE) are required to provide health coverage for qualifying employees, or they will face penalties. To ensure this mandate is followed they must comply with the ACA monthly reporting requirements. For 2015 reporting, ALEs are defined as employers with 100 or more full time employees (including FTEs) for the 2014 calendar year. ALEs are required to provide health coverage to at least 70% of qualifying employees to avoid non-coverage penalties. For 2016 and beyond the percentage of coverage needed jumps to 95%. Small businesses with 50-99 FTE will need to start insuring full-time workers by 2016. The mandate does not apply to employers with 49 or less FTE. The forms will not be filed until January 2016, however the information must be reported for each month of 2015. Therefore, it is critical for employers to ensure their internal time and attendance, record management, and payroll systems are ca
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How to Avoid Wage and Hour Lawsuits: A Compliance Game Plan for Employers

Wage and hour lawsuits can cost employers millions of dollars and jeopardize a company’s reputation. To avoid wage and hour lawsuits, settlements, fines, and headaches, employers need an airtight compliance initiative. We’ve compiled the following steps to help you achieve labor compliance: 8 Steps for Your Compliance Game Plan Step 1: Know which wage and hour laws affect your business. Stay abreast of relevant legislation. Step 2: Develop definitive compliance policies as well as the procedures needed to enforce them. Step 3: Educate all employees and managers on compliance policies. Incorporate a compliance training program into your annual planning. Step 4: Leverage workforce management technology to automate compliance processes and reduce the possibility of human error, which is often the crux of wage and hour lawsuits. Step 5: Keep accurate, comprehensive records for self-auditing, and also as a defense against non-compliance allegations. Step 6: Audit your compliance pract
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Misclassifying NonExempt Employees as Exempt

Nearly 20% of wage and hour lawsuits center on the allegation that employers misclassified nonexempt employees as exempt, largely to avoid paying overtime. Nonexempt employees are eligible for overtime pay; exempt employees are not. Broadly speaking, in order to be classified as exempt, employees must meet three tests: ✔ The Salary Level Test –Employees must be paid at least $23,600 per year. ✔ The Salary Basis Test –Employees must be paid on a salary basis; i.e., receive a guaranteed minimum amount of pay for any work week. ✔ The Duties Test – Employees must perform exempt job duties, defined as executive, professional, or administrative duties. As you know, it’s a great deal more complicated than this (especially with regards to the Duties Test), and that’s what lands employers in trouble. It is also why President Obama recently directed the DOL to revise white collar exemptions. While the result of that directive remains to be seen, it is c
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Prevent Missed Meal Breaks and Avoid Wage & Hour Lawsuits

Meal break lawsuits are trending upwards. While federal wage and hour law does not mandate employers to provide meal and rest breaks, a number of states do. This makes compliance especially challenging for employers operating in multiple states. It’s virtually impossible to have a single meal break policy. While many states mandate ‘bona fide meal periods,’ during which employees are relieved from duty for 30 minutes or more, others have different requirements. When it comes to meals breaks, employers are most likely to get into trouble for: ✔✔ Missed or shortened meal breaks – Whether break time is paid or not, mandated breaks must be taken as required and in full. ✔✔ Late meal breaks – Some states require that meal breaks occur at specific intervals. Employees missing the break ‘window’ are in violation. ✔✔ Inaccurate automatic deductions – Some employers build automatic meal break deductions into their time tracking systems to ensure they’re properly d
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Employers: New Affordable Care Act Forms and Requirements

IRS Releases New Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements for Employers Recently, the IRS released the final reporting requirements for employers to monitor their compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Employers who have 50 or more full time employees or full time equivalent employees are required to file the new forms in 2016 for the 2015 tax year. The new Affordable Care Act forms may look simple in appearance, but they require extensive recordkeeping to complete properly. They include: Form 1095-C: Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, to be filed by employers to verify their compliance with the employer “shared responsibility” mandate and adequate coverage for employers. Form 1094-C: Transmittal of Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, which provides a summary to the IRS of aggregate employer-level data. To learn more about the forms, view the IRS’ summary of understanding employer requirements of the health care law
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New Report: 70% of U.S. Workers Are Not Engaged at Work

How an Automated Time and Attendance System can Improve Employee Engagement It’s no question that employee engagement is key to the success of a business. However, 79% of business leaders believe they have a significant retention and engagement problem1.  In fact, in a recent State of the American Workplace report, Gallup Research found that 70% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. While there are many different ways to address and increase employee engagement in your workforce, you may not realize that an automated time and attendance system can make employees feel more connected to your business, and therefore, more engaged with their jobs. Here are a few areas an automated time and attendance system can help you improve employee engagement: Communication Clear communication channels can be difficult to come by when you manage a distributed workforce that is constantly on the move. Remote worksites make it difficult for managers to communicate with their employees, leaving
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Maintain Timecard Compliance by Avoiding Unauthorized Timecard Changes

Avoid FLSA Violations by Preventing Unauthorized Timecard Changes In a number of states, employers cannot change a timecard without the employee’s knowledge and approval. However, employers frequently find themselves in trouble because their managers run afoul of this particular mandate. Perhaps they’re filling in a missed punch, correcting an error, or trying to minimize overtime expenses. Regardless, when employees discover inconsistencies in their paychecks, they may be motivated to file a complaint. This a particular concern for employers who manage a distributed workforce and whose field managers tend to operate independently. (Interestingly, when we conducted a study of timecard changes made in our Blueforce time tracking system, we found that employees took home more money than they would have had the timecards been left unchanged.) Best Practices for Maintaining Timecard Compliance Develop and implement a timecard compliance training program for managers. Train managers t
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Papa John’s to Pay 2 Million Dollars to Employees in Wage and Hour Lawsuit

Where They Went Wrong and How to Prevent a Similar Wage and Hour Lawsuit from Happening to You Last month, a New York Papa John’s franchise owner was hit with a $2 million Wage and Hour lawsuit. According to the Huffington Post, Papa John’s rounded down employees’ hours and failed to comply with overtime rules. StreetInsider.com also reported that the company paid employees the minimum wage of a tipped delivery driver, even when they performed kitchen duties or other non-tipped work. The New York Attorney General issued a statement urging all food franchisors and business owners to “take steps necessary to ensure that their workers – the backbone of their business – are treated fairly and paid the wages the law requires.” So where did Papa John’s go wrong? And what steps can you take to prevent a wage and hour lawsuit like this one? Employee Time Rounding: Avoid at All Costs Time rounding is adjusting employee punches within specific bounds. For example, if an employee
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Eliminate Off the Clock Work and Prevent Lawsuits

Failure to properly compensate employees for all hours worked is the most frequently-cited violation made by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division. In addition, a number of states have recently enacted anti-wage theft laws. That’s why it’s very important that employers track all compensable work time and make sure managers understand what that means. According to the DOL, compensable work hours include all time when an employee is on duty, including: ✔ Work performed at home ✔ Traveling between worksites (but not commuting) ✔ Waiting time ✔ Donning and doffing (putting on and taking off uniforms, protective gear, etc.) ✔ Training Best Practices for Eliminating Off the Clock Work Develop clear off the clock policies as it pertains to your workforce. Communicate these clearly to managers and employees. Make sure your time tracking system captures 100% of work hours for 100% of the workforce. Any gaps create opportunities for lawsuits and fines. Instill proced
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Podcast: Lawyers Explain California Labor Law

Need clarity regarding California labor law requirements? Help identifying key facts and strategies for maintaining compliance? Look no further. In this podcast, leading wage and hour law firm Seyfarth Shaw explains how to prevent labor lawsuits in the complicated California structure. What You ll Learn About California Labor Law Top employer pitfalls Best practices for avoiding litigation and penalties How to ensure compliance across every worksite Presented by Colleen Regan, Partner, and Chelsea Spuck, Senior Associate, who work in the Labor & Employment Department in the Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, the leading wage and hour law firm. Their focus is advising employers on California labor law issues. Listen to the California compliance podcast now!
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New Professional Services Offering

Get the Most from Your Blueforce Time and Attendance System We are now offering customers a menu of à la carte professional services to help you keep your business running smoothly. Payroll Support Require assistance preparing for payroll day? We offer a range of time-saving services, including punch processing, mass batch work, timesheet management, and
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Do You Round Employee Hours? Make Sure You’re Following the Federal Department of Labor Laws When Doing So!

Rounding employee time has proven to be much more realistic than counting minutes. It is important that when you round employee hours it is not benefiting solely the employer or employee. If you round employee hours, you need to understand the Federal Department of Labor Laws regulations around rounding employee hours. Under the Federal Labor
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Increase Engagement with Employee-Centered Time and Attendance

From stadiums to nursing homes to construction sites, when you manage a large hourly workforce, your employees are your biggest asset to your business. So when it comes to time and attendance, you want a system that puts your employees first. After all, time and attendance systems were designed to track employees: whether it be their schedules, hours worked, PTO, tasks completed, on-the-job injuries or location. However, not all time and attendance systems offer the tools to increase employee engagement and lead to higher employee satisfaction. 3 key features of an employee-centered time and attendance system: Down to the Minute Time Tracking and Overtime Calculations When your employees contribute to the success of your business, you want to be certain you are paying them accurately. Implementing a time and attendance system that tracks all hours worked and accounts for overtime and pay rules, shows your employees that their hard work matters and gives them peace of mind that they wi
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New Georgia Legislation Allows Employers to Pay Employees with Pay Cards

New Georgia Law Permits Use of Payroll Cards Source: The National Law Review Authored: Todd Van Dyke and Justin R. Barnes Georgia employers now may pay employees through the use of payroll card accounts under a law signed by Governor Nathan Deal on May 5, 2015. The new law is effective immediately. Prior to the amendment, state law (O.C.G.A. § 34-7-2) referenced only cash, check, and direct deposit (with the consent of the employee) as the permissible methods of payment of wages. The new version of the statute expressly permits employers to pay employees “by credit to a payroll card account.” The statute defines “payroll card account” as “an account that is directly or indirectly established through a person, firm, or corporation employing wageworkers or other employees and to which electronic funds transfers of the wages or salary of such employees are made on a recurring basis, whether the account is operated or managed by such person, firm, or corporation or a third-part
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How to Improve Workforce Productivity with an Automated Points System

Employee tardiness and truancy negatively effects labor costs and decreases employee engagement. A time and attendance system equipped with ticks and points features can help you improve workforce performance and productivity by motivating employees to adhere to attendance policies. Here are 3 benefits of an employee time and attendance point system: Motivate Employees to Adhere to Attendance Policies With a points system, you can assign positive or negative points when an employee punches in late or on time, takes a meal break or punches out early. You can even assign points to non-attendance related activities. When a specified threshold is reached, you can send a warning to the employee or notify the manager. Gain Insight into Attendance Trends With a points system, you get real-time visibility into your employees’ attendance habits. Reporting capabilities allow managers to see which infractions workers struggle with, who is triggering alerts and at what sites. Tracking employee
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American Payroll Association’s (APA) Annual Congress Expo Game Plan

The American Payroll Association’s 33rd Annual Congress, the premier payroll event of the year, starts next week. The American Payroll Congress offers workshops, networking opportunities, recertification credits, and an expo with over 100 state-of-the-art payroll technologies and tools. The expo can be a great place to get educated on today’s resources and tomorrow’s trends, but with so many companies and technologies, it can be difficult to manage your time. 4 Tips to the Perfect Expo Game Plan at the APA Annual Congress: 1. Do Your Research It’s important that you have a general idea which companies will be exhibiting. APA offers a great online expo map that highlights companies by category like Time & Attendance, Payroll Cards, or Software as a Service. From there, you can read company profiles and click links to company websites. Be sure to write down the booth numbers of the companies you want to speak to. *Pro Tip:  Call or email the companies you want to speak to ahe
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Schedule Smarter: 3 Features to Help You Schedule Your Hourly Workforce

Employee scheduling can be tricky at the best of times, but when you juggle multiple worksites, multiple shifts, and mobile employees, it can feel almost impossible. Manual employee scheduling can take hours of effort and guesswork. With the right scheduling software that works with your time and attendance system, you can schedule smarter. Here are three scheduling features that can help save you time and money when scheduling hourly employees: Built In Budget Calculations Manual employee scheduling can make determining if you are staying within your labor budget an estimation at best. Scheduling software that has built in budget calculations can give you real time insight into resulting labor costs of a proposed schedule, and help you stay within your budget. Overtime Flagging When you operate on tight margins, every dollar counts. And keeping tabs on overtime can significantly cut labor costs and even save you the headache of a potential labor lawsuit. A scheduling software that al
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Paying Employees Correctly Under FLSA with Preliminary and Postliminary Activities

Not every required activity falls into the “preliminary” or “postliminary” activities exception. Source: Inside Council Authored: Joseph E. Gumina Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), activities engaged-in by employees that occur before and after scheduled work hours not involving the performance of the principal activities of an employee’s job are normally not compensable as working time. Such activities are referred to under the FLSA as preliminary and postliminary activities. Although such activities may include, under certain circumstances, donning and doffing activities, it can also more broadly encompass activities that are required of employees before and after their shifts, such as waiting in line to get paychecks, showering as a matter of convenience after a work shift, riding on a company bus from a parking lot to the work site or waiting in line to pass through a security screening. Whether such time should be compensated as hours worked recently received si
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8th Circuit Shuts Down Overtime Claim Because Plaintiff’s Guestimates of His Hours Worked Are Insufficient

Source: Seyfarth Shaw LLP Authored by Kyle Petersen Generalized Testimony About Hours Worked is a Victory for Employers Facing Misclassification Lawsuits The facts are familiar: An employee who is classified as exempt files suit claiming misclassification and seeking overtime pay. Understandably, the employer does not have time records for the employee because he was treated as exempt and paid on a salary basis. Employee fills the void by testifying that he worked 60 hours every single week based on approximations and estimates of his daily routines. All too often, such generalized testimony about weekly hours worked is enough for a plaintiff to survive summary judgment and be given a ticket to plead his case to a jury of his peers. However, the 8th Circuit said not so fast and affirmed the district court’s decision granting summary judgment to an employer because the plaintiff’s across-the-board approximation of his hours worked was insufficient to state a claim under the FLSA.
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The Department of Labor Investigates Retailers’ Relationships with Janitors

Original Source: Seyfarth Shaw LLP Co-Authored by Lynn Kappelman, Timothy Haley, and Karla E. Sanchez The Wage and Hour Division Focuses on Retailers Who Employ Janitorial Workers Recently, we learned that the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division has launched a sweeping FLSA compliance review focused on major retailers who employ janitorial workers. As part of that initiative, Wage and Hour Division has visited multiple retailer locations and has interviewed location management and janitorial employees. Wage and Hour Division has targeted retailers that hire janitors as employees, as well as those that retain janitors through independent contractors. Although these first investigations appear to be confined to the Northwest, we believe that this is part of a national initiative and retailers around the country should expect similar investigations in the coming months. The Northwest, however, is not yet out of the woods, and we understand that Wage and Hour Division’s inves
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What Should You Look for in a Mobile Time and Attendance App?

Employees that are scattered across multiple sites are the toughest to track—time and attendance wise. Having time clocks at every job site can be very difficult, especially if your employees are visiting different sites, customer sites or have sites with rugged terrain. So how can you keep track of your mobile employees’ time and attendance? Now that mobile time and attendance apps have arrived, there is finally a solution. But not all mobile time and attendance apps are created equal. There are many mobile time and attendance apps out there, so what should you look for? Here are the key things to look for when evaluating how well a mobile time and attendance app will work for you: Ease of Use– You don’t want employees tinkering with their smartphones or tablets on-site. The best mobile time and attendance apps allow workers to punch in and out in a few easy steps. And for peace of mind, the app confirms that the punch has registered. Customizability– Your time and attendan
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Off the Clock Work

Failure to properly compensate employees for all hours worked is the most frequently-cited violation made by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division. In addition, a number of states have recently enacted anti-wage theft laws. That’s why it’s very important that employers track all compensable work time and make sure managers understand what that means. According to the DOL, compensable work hours include all time when an employee is on duty, including: ✔ Work performed at home ✔ Traveling between worksites (but not commuting) ✔ Waiting time ✔ Donning and doffing (putting on and taking off uniforms, protective gear, etc.) ✔ Training Best Practices for Eliminating Off the Clock Work Develop clear off the clock policies as it pertains to your workforce. Communicate these clearly to managers and employees. Make sure your time tracking system captures 100% of work hours for 100% of the workforce. Any gaps create opportunities for lawsuits and fines. Instill proced
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