Bark and Bite: Best Practices for Your Company’s Off-the-Clock Policy

Most employers maintain a written timekeeping policy stating that non-exempt employees should accurately record their time worked. Yet many employers are still facing class action lawsuits alleging off-the-clock claims. Below we detail some key practices companies may consider to strengthen their timekeeping policies and defend against off-the-clock claims.

  • Policy: Maintain a timekeeping policy that makes the company’s expectations crystal clear, including that the company (1) does not tolerate off-the-clock work; (2) requires employees to immediately report policy violations to HR; and (3) disciplines (including terminates) employees who work off-the-clock or allow others to do so.
  • Training: Train non-exempt employees and their managers on the timekeeping policy and keep records of the training completion.
  • Reminders: Issue regular reminders regarding the timekeeping policy and/or post a reminder in the break room that employees are not allowed to work off-the-clock and must report policy violations.
  • Check-ins: Have managers, HR and/or auditors periodically check in with employees to confirm they are not working off-the-clock.
  • Certification: Require employees to certify or acknowledge that their time records are accurate. If the time records are inaccurate, require employees to immediately notify their manager or HR.
  • Take complaints seriously: Thoroughly investigate complaints, discipline/terminate policy violators and pay for reported off-the-clock work.
  • Remote access: Don’t give non-exempt employees remote access to company systems or e-mail, or make it clear that they must record any such remote access time.