By: Diego Gaytan, Solution Manager at TimeForge
Employers can’t claim ignorance when it comes to labor laws; it’s on each and every employer to know and abide by the laws in their area. Failing to do so can leave their business open to lawsuits and costly fines.
Typically, we see 3 stages of labor law noncompliance among employers who don’t use a labor management system like TimeForge, which has built-in proactive compliance. These stages are:
- Unaware of the labor laws or avoiding them
- Actively dealing with a lawsuit their previous solution left them unprepared for
- Drowning in complicated rules and looking for a way forward
Below, we discuss each stage of noncompliance and how labor management software can get your customers on the right track.
First Stage of Labor Law Noncompliance: Unaware of the Labor Laws or Avoiding Them
At TimeForge, we meet a lot of employers who are in this stage. With the pandemic and everything else going on, business owners and operators are often already overwhelmed. Even so, it’s important to stay on top of labor regulations; if your customers don’t, they could end up in stage 2 (dealing with a lawsuit).
If they haven’t already, your customers need to become familiar with labor laws affecting their city, region, or state. Some key topics to look at include:
Once your customers have determined which laws apply to their business, they can start working to maintain proper compliance. At TimeForge, we typically configure clients’ accounts accordingly so that they maintain compliance automatically. (If your customers aren’t sure whether and how the laws apply, we’ve got SHRM certified operations experts on our team who can help with that, too!) Our implementations team walks the client through each setting and scenario so that they fully understand how the software helps them maintain compliance.
Even if your customer uses a different labor management platform, they should still be going through these steps. We also recommend alerts and reports to proactively help customers manage their labor. For example, TimeForge can automatically alert managers ahead of time if employees are approaching overtime.
Second Stage of Labor Law Noncompliance: Dealing with a Lawsuit
Employers who stay in the first stage and fail to make themselves aware of the laws, or abide by them, ultimately end up in stage 2: dealing with a lawsuit. In this stage, the employer is starting to realize the importance of adhering to the rules – and the high costs of failing to do so. Often, they are scrambling to adjust their processes and systems in order to abide by the laws moving forward. Employers who come to us in this stage typically do so because they’ve discovered that their current labor management system can’t track or handle all the aspects of labor compliance.
We’re here to help.
When employers face labor-related lawsuits, their legal team needs as much information as possible. This includes records of employee attendance, scheduled shifts, or write ups during the time of employment. Fortunately, TimeForge safeguards employee information and keeps accurate audit trails. In fact, our software prevents managers and supervisors from deleting past posted schedules and editing attendance entries from approved pay periods. This prevents users from entering conflicting pay or scheduling information that could harm the employer in court.
Since TimeForge stores attendance and shift records securely in the cloud, employers don’t have a physical paper trail to keep track of. All the information needed for an audit is available online.
Third Stage of Labor Law Noncompliance: Confused or Unsure About the Rules
In the third stage of labor law noncompliance, the employer now understands the costs and consequences of noncompliance. However, they don’t necessarily understand the rules they’re supposed to be following. They may be unsure of how to proceed or where to make changes that won’t ruin their business. And we get it: it’s a tough balance. Your customers want to be compliant, but they also want to avoid overpaying their staff, as well.
Compounding this problem is the fact that labor laws and minimum wage laws change. What was true a year ago, two years ago, might not be true today. (Example: meal break rounding rules in California.) As the laws in your area evolve, your customers may need to revisit and revise their strategies. If a new rule impacts their labor management, our team is an available resource.
If you need a primer on fair workweek regulations and how they can affect your customers, check out our Fair Workweek eBook. It’s packed with helpful info to get you started, and it’s written in human-readable English.
What Does it Mean to Be Proactively Compliant?
It’s important to realize that TimeForge is much, much more than a tool for keeping an accurate paper trail. Where our software really excels is at proactive compliance. Meaning, it prevents many of the situations that would result in fines or fees. Automatically. The idea is that if your customers avoid breaking the rules in the first place, they’ll save money on things like predictability pay.
Are some of your customers in one of the scenarios covered in this article? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 866-684-7191 to see how we can help them become – and stay – labor law compliant.