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Successfully Implementing Time Card Attestation

Seven Steps to Successfully Implement Time Card Attestation

 1. Develop the Verbiage:

Determine what you are requiring your employees to attest to Commonly employers require employees to certify that they have been provided with all the required meal periods and all actual hours worked. An Example clause could be:

“I declare under penalty of perjury that I have accurately recorded all of the hours I worked (including hours outside of my normally scheduled workweek and overtime), I have received all of the meal periods and rest periods, to which I was entitled based on the number of hours I worked, and I have had the opportunity to make any necessary corrections to this time record before I signed it.”

2. Determine the actual  business processes needed to implement the new procedure:

Rolling out any new compliance program requires an audit of the existing processes.  The ability to implement a meaningful attestation process will depend on how time cards are collected, submitted, reviewed, and stored with the employee history.   Simply developing an attestation clause and putting it at the bottom of a paper timesheet may not be sufficient to reduce the risk of liability

3. Review employee policies and consistent documentation

Equally important to a streamlined process are your company’s employment documents such as Employee Arbitration Agreement, Employee TimeRecord Notice, Notice to Employees, Rest, Recovery and Meal Periods policies, off-the-clock work prohibition policy, and all related postings.  Auditing these policies and adapting them to be consistent and transparent is critical for adoption.  All together, up-to-date employment documents, attestation, and a current employee handbook can be your company’s best defense against employee claims

4. Develop disciplinary practices for frequent abusers of meal, rest periods, overtime, and time card/time punch policies:

Utilize progressive discipline in line with your current and past practices for other similar violations.

5. Investigate refusals and frequent policy:

Be sure your business practices allow for adequate time to take meals and breaks and that the work environment does not create the assumption that the employee should work off the clock. Provide an escalation process for supervisors to initiate an investigation.

6. Have a procedure in place to address an employee's refusal to attest:

Make sure the manager informs HR to investigate the situation. The employee may need an additional opportunity to ask questions or address a specific concern. This is normal when introducing any new policy. Do not take adverse employment action against the employee after making such a complaint without an opportunity to remediate. This will avoid the appearance of retaliation for the complaint.

7. Train managers:

Managers should be aware of the actual policy and how to introduce attestation processes to the employees and be able to address general employee questions or concerns. Timesheet automation provides managers and employees involved in approving time cards with eliciting open communications regarding exceptions to the employee's normally scheduled hours, meals, and rest periods.

If you aren’t using an automated timekeeping system or Attestation Features, companies have the option to simply print approved verbiage on manual time sheets or time cards and have employees manually sign each pay period. This will suffice if you have addressed the 7 areas above to support manual attestation.

No matter what policies and practices you put in place to prohibit unapproved overtime and work outside of the employee's normally scheduled work shift, ALL time must be recorded and the employee must be compensated for that time. Failure to compensate the employee would violate federal wage and hour laws (as well as most state laws).


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