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Timekeeping systems: Best practices for employers in California

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Employment Law

Keeping accurate time records is critical for employers. It helps track employee work hours, manage payroll, and comply with labor laws. It’s crucial to utilize best practices for electronic timekeeping and record retention to help employers keep precise and organized records. 

Choose the right timekeeping system

First, pick an electronic timekeeping system that suits your business needs. Many options are available, from simple apps to advanced software. Look for a system that is easy to use, reliable, and secure. A good system will make it easy and efficient for employees to clock in and out and for employers to track hours worked.

Train employees

Once you choose a system, train your employees to use it correctly. Make sure they understand how to clock in and out, how to record breaks, and how to report any issues. Clear instructions will help avoid mistakes and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Regularly review records

Regularly check and review timekeeping records to ensure accuracy. Look for patterns or discrepancies that might suggest errors. Promptly address any issues to maintain accurate records and avoid future problems.

Maintain accurate records

California law requires employers to maintain accurate records of hours worked for at least three years. This includes start and end times, break times, and daily hours worked. Ensure your electronic system can store these records securely and keep them easily accessible when needed.

Protect employee privacy

Timekeeping records often include sensitive information. Protect employee privacy by securing your electronic timekeeping system. Use strong passwords and encryption, and limit access to records to authorized personnel only.

Stay updated on laws and regulations

Labor laws and regulations can change. Stay informed about any updates related to timekeeping and record retention. Regularly review your practices to ensure they comply with current laws to avoid legal issues and keep your business running smoothly.

Backup records

Regularly back up your electronic timekeeping records. Use secure cloud storage or external hard drives to prevent data loss. Regular backups ensure you have access to records in case of system failures or other emergencies.

Use reports for management

Use the reports generated by your timekeeping system to manage your workforce more effectively. Analyze work patterns, overtime, and productivity. This data can help you make informed decisions about scheduling, staffing, and managing labor costs.

Applying timekeeping best practices in your workplace

Keeping track of employees’ time worked can be stressful if done by hand. However, by following these best practices, employers in California can maintain accurate electronic timekeeping records, which frees up time for employers to focus on other important tasks.