Time For Business

Are You a Victim of Time Theft?

According to a Careerbuilder survey released in 2014, 48% of employers expect their workers to be on time every day. Nearly one third of employers (35%) have actually fired an employee for excessive tardiness.

But according to the same survey, 23% of employees admit to being late once a month on average, while 15% say they’re late to work at least once a week. According to the employees, 39% of the time they’re late because of traffic.

Have you been a victim of time theft?

If your company doesn’t track employee work time and simply assumes everyone works a full day unless they say otherwise, it’s possible you have experienced time theft. While most employees are honest and will accurately report when they’re late or if they have to leave early, there’s really little way of telling if one or two bad apples are taking advantage of the situation.

While it may not seem like a big deal, a quick bit of math will show you that even a few minutes of “stolen” time per day can add up rapidly. For instance, if an employee arrives late, leaves early or takes long breaks for a total of 15 minutes per day, by the end of the year you’ve paid that employee for over six days of time they didn’t actually work! It’s like giving them over a week of extra vacation. Multiply that by just a few employees, and you can see the dollars flying out the door.

Even if your company does try to formally track employee work time, there are still ways workers can potentially get away with arriving late, leaving early or taking a long lunch without reporting it:

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Volunteering, Part 2

Last time, we talked about the problems with for-profit organizations trying to make use of volunteers. We learned there are very specific criteria that must be met for an activity to be considered a legitimate volunteer opportunity. As it turns out, while they can organize volunteer efforts for charitable organizations and/or encourage their employees to volunteer their services individually, it’s virtually impossible for a profit-making organization to use volunteer labor directly.

For non-profits, on the other hand, the situation is a bit different. Not necessarily less complicated, but different.

Motivation is key

For non-profits, they can make use of volunteer labor, as long as the volunteering individual is motivated by “personal, civic, charitable, humanitarian, religious, or public service reasons.” According to the Department of Labor, such “ordinary volunteerism” is not compensable.

So how do you know if an activity qualifies as “ordinary volunteerism”? In general, there are no hard-and-fast rules, but by following certain guidelines a non-profit can maximize the chances that the DOL will regard their workers as true volunteers:

Read the rest of Volunteering, Part 2

Volunteering Can Be Risky (For) Business

When it comes to business expenses, what manager or owner doesn’t want to save money? There are a lot of ways to go about cutting expenses. IF you’re a for-profit company, though, asking employees to volunteer their services generally speaking isn’t one of them.

Does this mean your company can never sponsor volunteer opportunities or participate in volunteer events as a group? Not at all… but the Department of Labor has very strict rules about when and how employees of for-profit enterprises can legitimately be treated as volunteers (as opposed to employees who are entitled to be paid for their work time).

What does a legitimate volunteer opportunity look like?

In order for an event to be considered a real volunteer opportunity, it must meet the following criteria:

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6 Essential Features to Look For in a Time Tracking System

Many organizations these days are looking to upgrade to a modern automated time tracking system to help monitor and manage employee work time. Is yours one of them? If so, wise choice! Automating your time and attendance has the potential to save your company time, money and headaches.

If you’ve ever watched one of those television programs where people go shopping for a new house, you know the prospective home-buyers always have a “wish list” of the features they must have — a large kitchen, an open floor plan, a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms, that sort of thing. Similarly, you should have a list of must-have features in mind when you go shopping for a new time and attendance solution.

Here are six features I recommend you include on that list to ensure you’ll get the most benefit from your new system:

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Are Your Employees Covered by the FLSA?

I talk a lot about the Fair Labor Standards Act. And it’s important for most businesses to pay attention to the provisions of the FLSA, because many (most?) employees are covered by the provisions of this law. But not all employees…

There are two different set of criteria used to determine if an employee is covered by the FLSA: “enterprise coverage” and “individual coverage.”

Enterprise Coverage

Enterprise coverage applies when the entire organization is subject to the FLSA. Generally speaking, for this to happen, two things must be true: Read the rest of Are Your Employees Covered by the FLSA?

Four Reasons to Take Your Payroll to the Cloud


Photo by 401(K) 2013

Have you seen the TV commercial where the couple decides to store all their “things” in the cloud? They load up all their stuff in boxes connected to balloons and release them into the sky. As you can probably imagine, it doesn’t end well.

A lot of businesses are also taking to the cloud, not only for document storage and sharing, but also for running mission critical applications such as time and attendance tracking and payroll processing.

Unlike the experience of the TV commercial couple, though, it turns out this use of “the cloud” actually can be a pretty good idea!

Here are four reasons you should consider taking your payroll processing to the cloud with AcroTime:

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That’s a Lotta Dough!

gavel-money

According to a September 15 press release from the U.S. Department of Labor, the DOL has awarded grants totaling $10.2 million to 19 states to help fund their efforts to crack down on misclassified workers.

States receiving the funds include California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin. According to the release, the funds will be used by the states’ Unemployment Insurance tax programs to identify instances where employers improperly classify employees as independent contractors or fail to report the wages paid to workers at all.

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We’ve Arrived!

On our Seen the Green page, we’ve documented some of the movies, TV shows and print publications where we’ve found our green clocks. It’s become something of a hobby for us, trying to identify all the places our Model 125 and Model 150 show up in broadcast, online and in print. We’ve found our clocks used as set dressing and props in various major motion pictures and TV series, in commercials for the New York Lottery and Volkswagen, on posters advertising beer, in a TED talk and in Newsweek magazine, among (many) other places.

Still, we worried we hadn’t yet reached the pinnacle of fame. As a friend of Acroprint recently commented, “They say you’ve arrived when you make it into the funny pages.” And (at least as far as we knew) we hadn’t yet appeared in the comics.

But now at last we can rest easy — we have truly made it to the top of the mountain!

Yep, Acroprint’s iconic Model 150 has made it into the “funnies!” Here’s a frame from the July 6 edition of the Baldo comic strip:

baldo

(You can tell it’s a Model 150 because he’s able to clock in using only one hand, thanks to the automatic print mechanism…)

You can see the whole comic at http://www.gocomics.com/baldo/2014/07/06.

And if you’ve “Seen the Green” anywhere, be sure to let me know! We all love to hear about your sightings.

Do I really have to keep all this stuff?

When my family and I moved into our townhouse earlier this year, we decided that it was time to do a little “purging” before we packed. My mission for my family was clear — if you haven’t seen it, worn it, used it, or played with it in the last year, it’s going in the garbage. They knew I meant business when they saw me throwing away shoes (don’t judge me…my foot grew!) and clothes. Why would we want to move into a new place with anything that we are not going to use? It just creates clutter, and I loathe clutter…

One of the things I was assigned to do was purge the paper file folder that we have…and I was not looking forward to it. I put EVERY bill statement, cancelled check, expired debit card, and the like in that folder. It was busting at the seams, and that’s not an exaggeration. I took a deep breath in, closed my eyes, said a prayer, and got to work…

Now, you’re probably wondering “how does this relate to time and attendance?” That’s a great question, and the answer is simple. But first, let me ask you this: do YOU have a desk drawer, file cabinet, or manila folder that’s busting at the seams with paperwork that you don’t want to throw away? Chances are you do. And that’s okay. The reality is, we keep these documents as proof of what we are doing on a day-to-day basis; timesheets, payroll records, tax returns, bill statements, etc. But there are a few great tips that you can use to help “calm the clutter” and purge some of those pieces of paper that have become the bane of your existence.

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Twice the Coverage!

Two Year Warranty Logo

Big news! Acroprint now offers a two year warranty on most of our employee time clocks, time stamps and systems hardware. That’s twice as long as the standard one-year warranty common in our industry.

(Yep, told you it was big news!)

Why are we doing this?

Well, we know our clocks are built to last. And we figured we could say that all we wanted… but, you know, talk is cheap. Nothing can prove it like putting our money where our mouths are.

So, to celebrate our 45th anniversary, and to honor the legendary durability of our clocks, we decided to double our warranty coverage — extending it to two full years from date of purchase. (Of course, we still offer the same lifetime warranty on the Model 125 and Model 150 typewheels as we’ve always offered. For those clocks, the new two year warranty applies to the rest of the hardware.)

Just one more reason to choose Acroprint when you want to Make Every Minute Count!

You can read the official press release here, or get more detailed information at our Warranty Center.

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