Every day more and more applications become available for smartphone users some are for fun and some are useful. I personally have a barcode scanner app, The Weather Channel app and a stopwatch app on my smartphone. The federal government has gotten into the app business and created an application which will help employees track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. At this time, the Department of Labor app is available in either English or Spanish, but only for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Department of Labor timesheet app does not handle tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis remarked, "I am pleased that my department is able to leverage increasingly popular and available technology to ensure that workers receive the wages to which they are entitled. This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay."

I’ve blogged several times about employers who have been fined for not properly paying their employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including Levi Strauss & Company and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in Orlando, Florida. Now, employees have technology in their favor. In the past, if the Department of Labor received a complaint and the Wage and Hour Division conducted an investigation, the only party with any evidence was the Employer. Through this new app the employee can now provide verification of their tracked work hours to the Wage and Hour Division. The Department of Labor states, such information could prove invaluable during an investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records.

Employers make sure you are correctly tracking your employees’ hours of work, and make sure employees are properly compensated under the FLSA. You don’t want your business subjected to an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division and then have to rely on the evidence provided by an employee through a smartphone app, because you don’t accurately track an employee’s work hours.