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DOL issues new app to help workers in wage disputes

A new smart phone application issued by the Department of Labor allows workers to keep track of their wages and which would provide employers a disincentive to keeping sloppy or incomplete records.

The Time sheet app allows workers to calculate their regular hours, break time and overtime pay in order to keep their own wage records. It was developed by DOL officials in an effort to assist workers in cases where employers fail to keep accurate records, particular in wage and hour disputes involving government investigation.

The new smart phone app represents the Obama administration's latest effort in ensuring enforcement of wage and hour laws. According to sources, the DOL recently hired around 300 more investigations which will examine complaints of unpaid work time, failure to pay overtime pay, and violations of minimum wage laws.

Employers are concerned that the time sheet app will encourage more wage and hour lawsuits, which have increased significantly since the DOL created the "Bridge to Justice" program last year. That program assists workers with grievances in finding attorneys who will take their case when the DOL's Wage and Hour Division is unable to handle their complaint due to case overload.

Since the beginning of that program, wage and hour compliance has become a greater focus for employers.

While many employers see the new program and the new smart phone app as threatening and burdensome to their business, the DOL sees the new app as simply a way to empower workers to secure their rights when their employer fails to pay them what they rightfully have earned.

Source: pantagraph.com, "App a tool for workers in wage disputes," Sam Hananel, 21 May 2011.

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