Time clock guidelines for hourly staff


Should you personal or handle a small enterprise and have hourly staff, you know the way essential it’s to be compliant with native legal guidelines and precisely observe your workforce’s hours, PTO, and time beyond regulation.

However conserving observe of all the mandatory guidelines and laws isn’t straightforward, particularly once you’re juggling the opposite tasks that include working a enterprise.

Undecided what time clock guidelines try to be following? We’re right here to assist! We’ll stroll you thru the principle time clock guidelines for hourly staff and present you ways Homebase’s time clock can prevent money and time.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

  • How non-exempt and hourly staff ought to clock out and in
  • 6 time clock guidelines that each administration and employees must observe
  • Frequent time clock rule violations
  • How to decide on the precise time clock software program on your workforce



How non-exempt staff and hourly staff ought to clock out and in

Non-exempt staff sometimes earn lower than a minimal quantity decided by the Division of Labor and are due to this fact entitled to minimal wage and time beyond regulation pay after they work greater than 40 hours every week. This offers them a special standing to exempt staff who’re labeled as govt, skilled, or administrative employees. This group earns the next wage and due to this fact doesn’t qualify for the time beyond regulation provisions of the Truthful Labor Requirements Act (FLSA).

Hourly staff are additionally non-exempt staff. However whereas non-exempt staff may be paid on a wage or hourly foundation, hourly staff obtain an hourly wage for the work they do quite than a salaried quantity.

Since each non-exempt and hourly staff are compensated on an hourly foundation and entitled to time beyond regulation pay, it’s very important for each authorized and enterprise causes they’re clocking out and in earlier than and after their shifts.  

In the event that they don’t, you won’t understand that they’ve labored greater than 40 hours that week and are entitled to time beyond regulation pay. This sometimes means the next charge of pay (a minimum of time and a half their common charge of pay for US staff). You may additionally be paying for hours that haven’t been labored, for instance, when staff arrive late or clock in early.

In case you have each exempt and nonexempt staff, guarantee they know that they may must observe completely different units of guidelines in the case of time and compensation.

By making certain staff are paid appropriately for his or her work, you gained’t find yourself paying extra for labor than what was initially budgeted for. On the identical time, by appropriately paying staff, you’ll keep away from pointless authorized complications.

6 time clock guidelines for hourly staff

No matter what system or app your enterprise makes use of on your worker time clock, there are some guidelines and greatest practices that each you and your employees ought to observe to precisely log time and preserve processes working easily. Let’s break a few of them down:

1. Have an efficient time monitoring system

An effective way to make sure you’re following all the mandatory time clock guidelines for your enterprise is to have an correct time monitoring system for worker hours and day off.

Whereas it’s attainable to manually observe time with a paper timesheet or punch card, this may be very gradual and makes payroll and time card approval troublesome to finish. You don’t wish to undergo the tedious course of of getting staff manually punch out and in solely to switch that data into your payroll software program and different digital functions wanted to run your enterprise.

You may as well think about using an ID badge system or scanner, however there’s at all times the chance that an worker will overlook their badge and must manually clock out and in anyway. Plus, this selection doesn’t work effectively for workers who sometimes must work off-site and might’t bodily scan in.

An image showing Homebase's time tracking feature. Each employee has a profile photo, and their hours worked for the pay period are displayed next to the photos.
Homebase makes time monitoring straightforward and intuitive. Supply: Homebase

As an alternative of utilizing a bodily timesheet or an ID scanner, utilizing cell instruments to trace hours and PTO saves money and time, and it’s extra handy for each enterprise house owners and employees. 

Homebase’s time monitoring and timesheet options make it a great alternative on your total workforce. You possibly can simply observe hours, breaks, and time beyond regulation out of your pc, iOS or Android gadgets, and even POS techniques. And on the finish of every week, the app will robotically create correct timesheets you should utilize for payroll and different processes.

Homebase presents a number of completely different time clock choices so you may select which one is greatest on your workforce.

2. Stop time theft

Time theft is when employees members take unauthorized day off with out utilizing PTO or paid sick go away. No matter whether or not staff deliberately or unintentionally do that, stealing time typically instantly violates firm insurance policies, and typically even time theft legal guidelines. Whereas this could result in inner self-discipline, your enterprise additionally wants to make sure that you’re not violating any labor legal guidelines.

Sadly, time theft is a standard actuality that enterprise house owners need to take care of and attempt to forestall as a lot as attainable. Whereas most staff adjust to your enterprise processes, there are people who will make the most of any flaws in your time monitoring system and use them to receives a commission for extra hours than they earned.

A biometric time clock might forestall some employers from stealing time, however they aren’t authorized in each state. Alternatively, guide timesheets and punch clocks make it straightforward for individuals to commit time theft as a result of staff may be dishonest when writing down their hours or buddy punch (punch out and in for one another).

One of the simplest ways to forestall time theft is through the use of a web based time clock, such because the one supplied by Homebase. Homebase can assign a singular pin for every employees member and take a photograph each time they punch in, so there’s no approach for coworkers to clock out and in for one another. It even has a GPS time clock app function that, when enabled, prevents employees members from punching in till they’ve arrived on the location you set.

When employees clock in, they are prompted by Homebase to enter their personal pin. This prevents buddy punching.
Homebase offers every worker a private pin they’ve to make use of to clock out and in. This can assist forestall buddy punching and different types of time theft. Supply: Homebase

These options not solely forestall time theft, however they’ll additionally provide you with a warning if any staff miss their breaks, which might probably land your enterprise in authorized hassle.

3. Document on a regular basis labored

Any time your staff spend working for your enterprise must be recorded, whatever the location. Should you make use of anybody that works remotely or has duties to carry out away out of your essential job website, it may be harder to trace after they punch out and in. 

Having a versatile time monitoring system is a straightforward answer to this downside. Relatively than counting on a guide timesheet or punch system, an app like Homebase simplifies the method. So long as you allow clocking out and in from different places, staff can file their time spent working from wherever. That approach, you gained’t need to manually modify or file hours labored away out of your essential office.

An image showing Homebase's GPS tracking feature, which allows employers to determine where you can and cannot clock in.
Homebase’s GPS time clock function lets employees clock in from wherever, whilst you can set geofences to forestall punches from unapproved places. Supply: Homebase

4. Spherical to the closest increment

A fast strategy to get on the incorrect aspect of labor legal guidelines is to spherical time incorrectly or unfairly. When employers pay their staff in blocks of an hour or fraction of an hour quite than minutes, they at all times must spherical to the closest increment. At all times rounding down may end up in a violation of labor legal guidelines since you’re basically depriving employees of rightfully earned wages.

Frequent time clock rounding increments embody rounding to the closest 5 or quarter-hour. Whenever you’re rounding to the closest quarter of an hour, observe the 7-minute rule: minutes one via seven are rounded down, and minutes eight via fifteen are rounded up. Utilizing a web based instrument like Homebase to trace hours could make this course of simpler, because the software program will do the rounding for you.

5. Don’t ask staff to work off the clock

You must by no means ask an worker to carry out any duties with out additionally requiring them to clock in. Not solely is that this unethical and unfair to your employees, however it’s additionally a severe violation of the Truthful Labor Requirements Act (FLSA) and state legal guidelines.

Remind your staff that regardless of how urgent a deadline is or how dedicated they’re to getting sure duties performed, all work have to be accomplished solely throughout frequently scheduled shifts or with prior approval of additional hours. If staff are permitted for unscheduled work, be sure that they aren’t approaching time beyond regulation hours until this has been accounted for in your finances.

6. Workers should get permission for time beyond regulation

As talked about within the earlier part, staff ought to at all times ask for prior approval earlier than working greater than 40 hours per week. Since time beyond regulation is usually paid at 1.5x a employees member’s regular charge, it might probably shortly add up and have an effect on your finances. Should you plan to permit any time beyond regulation work, define a transparent coverage and talk it to your employees. Unplanned time beyond regulation work shouldn’t be a standard follow.

Should you’re struggling to watch which staff are constantly coming near time beyond regulation pay, you should utilize Homebase’s time clock to ship you an computerized alert.  This can show you how to keep away from by chance overscheduling particular person employees members who’re nearing 40 hours in a working week.

Frequent time clock rule violations

Whereas following the time clock guidelines and greatest practices listed above may appear easy, many employers violate them with out even realizing it. Along with making a troublesome work surroundings for workers, these points can spell authorized hassle for your enterprise. A number of frequent time clock rule violations embody:

  • Mandating that non-exempt or hourly staff clear up the office earlier than clocking in for his or her shift or after clocking out 
  • Requiring staff to clock out earlier than finishing unfinished duties that weren’t accomplished through the workday 
  • Scheduling obligatory conferences throughout designated lunch breaks 
  • Instructing staff to clock out when work is briefly unavailable, equivalent to between the lunch and dinner rush at a restaurant 
  • Continuously contacting staff exterior of working hours to ask non-urgent questions 
  • Requiring staff to be on-call (in elements of the US the place it’s unlawful) 
  • Not following particular restaurant legal guidelines and laws if you happen to function within the meals service trade

To make sure your enterprise doesn’t violate any time clock guidelines, merely keep in mind that if an worker is actively engaged on a activity for your enterprise, they should be clocking in and compensated for his or her time. That is no matter the kind of work, time of day, and the variety of clients you’re serving at any given time.

Choosing the proper time clock app on your workforce

Whereas it might look like there are infinite potential time clock violations, most of them may be summarized as merely monitoring and paying your staff appropriately and pretty. This implies having techniques in place for each managers and employees to file correct punches and guarantee no time theft is dedicated.

Finally, most groups are capable of observe time clock guidelines and keep away from frequent violations when the enterprise they work for implements a easy and environment friendly time clock system. Homebase’s time clock has all of those capabilities and extra. It’s straightforward to make use of, constructed for small companies, and designed particularly for hourly work. 

With its intuitive options, Homebase can assist companies with hourly employees and non-exempt staff keep on prime of time clock guidelines. Plus, in contrast to many different choices in the marketplace, it’s free! Homebase can assist your small enterprise cease worrying about time clock guidelines and as an alternative focus in your clients and rising your enterprise.



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