The U.S. Department of Labor has launched its first application for smartphones. It is a time sheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. Glossary, contact information and materials about wage laws are easily accessible through links to the Web pages of the department’s Wage and Hour Division. Both the app and the calendar can be downloaded from the Wage and Hour Division’s home Web page.

Additionally, through the app, users will be able to add comments on any information related to their work hours; view a summary of work hours in a daily, weekly and monthly format; and email the summary of work hours and gross pay as an attachment.

This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records. This information could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records. “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,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.”

The free app is currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Labor Department will explore updates that could enable similar versions for other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry, and other pay features not currently provided for, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.

For workers without a smartphone, the Wage and Hour Division has a printable work hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers’ rights and how to file a wage violation complaint.

The Advi$or would just like to point out that if you do not have an accurate, quality system to track and clearly define your employees’ time at work, such as an automated timekeeping system, you had better consider using one. If you are not able to provide qualified information in answer to any employee’s claim that they are not being paid correctly because of information generated using this app, you will have a difficult time answering to the Dept of Labor. All employees should be paid what they earn according to the law. Our intent is to provide you with the information you need to help you make sure your business is in compliance.