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Time Tracking for Exempt Employees

by | Mar 17, 2016 | Blog, Compliance

Time Tracking for Exempt Employees

From improved scheduling to accurate overtime calculations, it’s easy to see how hourly employees benefit from a digitalized workforce management solution. But what about your exempt employees? Should they be included in your time and attendance system? Our recommendation is yes—and here are four reasons why:

  1. Work-life balance. Too often, HR doesn’t know that exempt employees are putting in 12-hour workdays until they hear complaints in an exit interview. Yet, providing easy-to-use time tracking tools would allow you to proactively identify salaried workers who are at risk for burnout before overworking becomes a pattern. In cases where an ‘always-on’ culture has become systemic, this information equips leaders to address the issue head-on and set clear expectations for exempt workers. The result is greater employee satisfaction and long-term retention.

    Work-hour trend data can also be used to redistribute workloads and improve productivity. For example, if exempt employees in one department regularly work substantially more than 40 hours per week, while exempt employees in another department rarely work over 40 hours, adjusting the workload can significantly improve workforce utilization and increase productivity for both departments.

  2. Accurate accrual tracking. Employees appreciate autonomy—especially in the form of convenient, real-time tools for managing their own time off. Adding exempt employees to your time and attendance solution allows them to see at a glance how much time they have accumulated to date. Forecast data can also help them plan ahead for vacations, which benefits the organization as well. Managers with clear visibility around how many time-off requests have already been approved can make informed decisions as new requests come in. This improves communication and helps managers allocate resources more effectively during peak vacation months.
  3. Leave eligibility. For employees, the need to take a leave of absence is often accompanied by a significant life event. Even when that event is a happy one—such as the birth of a child—it can be stressful for the employee to take time off from work. Quite often, there is also confusion around leave eligibility and duration, particularly for medical leaves. In the U.S., eligibility for job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is determined, in part, by the employee’s hours of service during the 12-month period leading up to the requested leave. Tracking work hours of exempt employees ensures that you have accurate records at your disposal, should an employee request a leave of absence. This information also makes it easier to track FMLA leave usage, particularly for intermittent leaves.
  4. Compliance. In the U.S., the Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to track work hours for exempt employees, but some local jurisdictions do. For example, back in 2014, the state of Illinois passed a new wage and hour regulation requiring employers with exempt employees working in the state to retain accurate records of their work hours for at least three years (codified at 56 Ill. Admin. Code 300.630(a)). This is why employers must always stay on top of emerging labor laws or—even better—work with a vendor like us who will help you stay compliant as laws change.

These are just a few of the reasons why we recommend including all employees in your time and attendance solution as a best practice. And it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need to have salaried workers ‘clock in’ and out. You can simply have them log elapsed time or record any exceptions, such as a paid holiday. To learn more or to see our EmpCenter solution for yourself, contact us directly or request a personalized demo of our cloud-based workforce management software.

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