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The must-know time clock rules for hourly employees

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The must-know time clock rules for hourly employees. Image: Unsplash
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From a business perspective, keping track of time clock when and how long your employees work is important; you want to make sure they’re getting paid accurately for the hours they put in—and that you aren’t under or overpaying your team.

But keeping track of your hourly workers and non-exempt employees’ hours is more than just a good business practice. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and individual state labor laws, keeping records of your employees’ work hours is actually a legal requirement.

But what are the time clock rules for hourly employees? What information do you need to keep track of? How do you need to track that information? And what are you required to do with that information once you have it on record?

Which employees’ hours do you need to track?

First things first—before we jump into all-things time tracking, let’s quickly cover which employees’ time you actually need to track.

If you have hourly employees, you absolutely need to track their hours. But where business owners sometimes get confused is when it comes to salaried employees.

When it comes to salaried employees, you may or may not need to track their hours; it all depends on whether they’re exempt or non-exempt. Exempt salaried employees aren’t eligible for overtime pay—and, as such, there’s no need to track their hours. Non-exempt salaried employees, on the other hand, are eligible for overtime pay—so even though they’re paid salary, you need to keep a record of their hours to determine if and when you need to pay them overtime.

Now that you know which employees’ time you need to track, let’s jump into the must-know time clock rules for hourly employees and non-exempt employees:

Have your employees clock in and out

As an employer, you’re required to keep accurate records of both the number of hours worked per workday and total hours worked per workweek for each non-exempt or hourly employee that works for your business. And the easiest way to keep track of your employees’ work time? Having them clock in and out each day.

Technically, there’s no required timekeeping system; according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), “Employers may use any timekeeping method they choose…Any timekeeping plan is acceptable as long as it is complete and accurate.” That means you can track your employees’ hours using digital time tracking tools, a punch card system, written time cards or timesheets, clocking in and out via an app on their mobile phone…whichever system feels the most intuitive for your business. 

Whatever system you use, the important thing is that your employees clock in and out every day—and that they clock in and out when they actually start and stop working. That will ensure accurate recordkeeping for your business—and make sure you’re in compliance with FLSA regulations.

Use time clock rounding correctly

Under the FLSA, employers can choose to track employees’ time in 15-minute increments—and if an employees’ actual hours worked falls outside of those increments, you can round to the nearest quarter-hour. Just make sure you’re rounding to the closest quarter hour; so, for minutes 1 to 7, you’d round down—and for minutes 8 through 14, you’d round up.

For example, let’s say you have an employee show up for work at 8:09am. Instead of setting their clock-in time at 8:09am, you could round up to 8:15am. If they showed up at 8:06, however, you would round down to 8:00am.

Pay overtime for anything over 40 hours (and know how much overtime you have to pay)

Not only are you required by federal law to pay overtime, but California also has strict rules on overtime pay for nonexempt employees. Under California state laws, you’re required to provide overtime pay of one-and-a-half time the hourly or nonexempt employee’s regular rate of pay for:

Working more than eight hours (but less than 12 hours) in a single day

  • Working more than 40 hours in a week
  • The first eight hours worked on the seventh day of consecutive work in a workweek

You’re required to up that overtime pay to double the employee’s regular rate of pay for:

Working more than 12 hours in a single day

  • Any hours in excess of eight hours worked on the seventh day of consecutive work in a workweek

If your employees are putting in hours above and beyond the standard eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, be prepared to compensate them for their time with overtime pay.

Never, ever let hourly or non-exempt employees work off the clock

Under the FLSA, it’s against federal law for hourly and nonexempt employees to work off the clock. And allowing nonexempt employees to work off the clock—whether you ask them or they volunteer—can lead to serious issues for your business, including lawsuits.

Where business owners run into trouble is understanding what “working off the clock” actually means. Your employee is working off the clock if they perform any job-related tasks without their time worked being recorded—and without being compensated for that time.

So, for example, let’s say you own a construction business and your team is working onsite at a client’s home. If one of your employees has to hang back at the end of the day and answer the clients questions for an hour, that’s time worked—and it needs to be recorded and paid for. If it’s not, it’s considered working off the clock.

Or maybe you’re hosting a networking event at your business and a few employees volunteer to come in early to help you set things up. Even if that kind of work falls outside of their typical job tasks (and even though they volunteered), you’re still asking your employee to perform additional work and put in additional hours—and, as such you’ll need to track and pay for that time. 

The point is, if you ask or allow your employees to work off the clock, not only are you breaking wage laws, but you’re also putting your business at risk for a lawsuit—so make sure both you and your employees are clear on what “working off the clock” means and that any hours worked are accurately tracked, recorded, and paid out.

Understand working on-call—and what that means for your employee hours

Depending on your business type, there might be times when you need your employees to be on-call. But do you need to provide on-call pay for those hours?

The answer is: it depends. 

Under California law, if your employees are on “restricted on-call duty”—meaning they’re required to be on the work premises or in a location that would allow them to get there within 15 minutes—they need to be paid at least minimum wage for any time spent waiting for an authorized call to work. If they are called into work, they need to be paid their regular hourly rate for any time spent responding to the authorized work call, including travel time. (In terms of time tracking, employees will need to clock the time they spend waiting for the call and the time they spend responding to it separately.)

If your employees are on “unrestricted on-call duty,” that means they’re free to engage in personal activities while on-call; as such, that time isn’t considered work time and no on-call pay is required. If they end up being called into work, again, they’re paid their regular hourly rate for any time spent responding to the call, including travel time (or a minimum of two hours—whichever is greater).

It’s important to understand the rules around on-call work, including how to track on-call time and when on-call pay is required; that way, you can keep proper records—and make sure your employees are compensated with on-call pay when necessary.

Stay on top of these time clock rules for hourly employees

Understanding time clock rules for hourly employees and accurately tracking your nonexempt employees’ time is a must. Not only is time tracking important to ensure your employees are paid fairly (including overtime and on-call pay), but it’s also important to protect your business and ensure you’re compliant with all FLSA and state labor laws.

At Hourly, we make it easy for business owners to track their employees’ time. With the Hourly app, you can enable mobile clock-ins, see who is working in real time, make sure you’re compliant with labor laws by tracking overtime pay and enforcing required breaks, and collect signed timesheets from your team—all with a few swipes on your smartphone.

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Maritime

Korean Register authorized to provide statutory services to Brunei

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Korean Register authorized to provide statutory services to Brunei. Image: Unsplash
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The Korean Register has been appointed to deliver statutory services on behalf of the Government of Brunei.

Korean Register will act as a Recognized Organization (RO), with KR surveyors conducting vessel surveys and audits, issuing certificates for Brunei’s flagged ships and ensuring full compliance with the SOLAS, MARPOL, ITC, ILL, and MLC regulations and international conventions.

Brunei is a country where the oil and gas industry accounts for 90% of the national economy, as a result, the shipping industry is well developed and focused on the transportation of these commodities.

KR has had a presence in Brunei since 2016, when it joined with a local partner in a joint venture to provide engineering services, third party inspection and certification services for oil and gas plants.

Hyung-chul Lee, Chairman and CEO, KR said: “This is an important achievement for KR, building on our solid reputation in the oil and gas sector. We are delighted to be expanding our services to our customers in Brunei and look forward to providing immediate, high quality services wherever they are.

“Today, KR is known as one of the industry’s most reliable class partners, clearly demonstrated by the fact that we are now authorized to act as RO – conducting surveys, issuing certificates and ensuring compliance with international regulations – by 81 flag administrations all around the world.”

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Maritime

U.S. DoT grants $220 million for port development program

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U.S. DoT grants $220 million for port development program. Image: Pixabay
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The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the award of more than $220 million in discretionary grant funding to improve port facilities in 15 states and territories through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program.

“This $220 million in federal grants will improve America’s ports with nearly half the projects are located in Opportunity Zones, which were established to revitalize economically distressed communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

U.S. maritime ports are critical links in the U.S. domestic and international trade supply chain and this funding will assist in the improvement of port facilities at or near coastal seaports. The Port Infrastructure Development Program aims to support efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure our nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met. The program provides planning, operational and capital financing, and project management assistance to improve their capacity and efficiency.

Of the 18 projects that were awarded grants, eight are located in Opportunity Zones, which were created to revitalize economically distressed communities using private investments.

“This critical investment demonstrates the Trump Administration’s commitment to supporting our nation’s ports and maritime industry,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “These grants will help our nation’s economy and ensure that America’s ports can continue to operate effectively in the competitive global marketplace.”

Ports provide countless jobs for Americans and are key to a nation that heavily relies on its maritime services. By providing the funding to support the improvement of this critical infrastructure component, MARAD and the Department of Transportation are ensuring these services will succeed during the nation’s ongoing economic recovery.

A complete list of grant recipients is below:

Seward, Alaska
Marine Terminal Freight Dock & Corridor Improvements (awarded $19,779,425)

The project will expand the existing dock by approximately 375 feet to deeper water to accommodate growing freight cargoes and to minimize operational conflicts between freight and cruise movements, both onshore and in the harbor. The Corridor Improvement Project component will create a roadway connection between the Freight Dock and the existing Airport Road, allowing improving safety between onshore freight movements and cruise passenger pedestrian movements.

Los Angeles, California
SR 47-Vincent Thomas Bridge & Harbor Boulevard-Front Street Interchange Improvement Project (awarded : $9,880,000)

This grant will help reduce delays and accidents at the Port of Los Angeles. The project interchange directly serves two container terminals, which handle approximately 5% of all waterborne containers entering/exiting the U.S. About 40% of all U.S. imports and 25% of all U.S. exports move through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.  This project is in an Opportunity Zone.

Palm Beach, Florida
On-dock rail facility development (awarded $13,224,090)

The project will construct an intermodal container transfer facility on-dock, capable of serving multiple berthed vessels simultaneously. The completion of this project is critical to addressing the major challenge to the Port’s realizing its maximum container throughput and reaching its full potential as a regional economic engine with minimal negative impact on the regional highway network.

Burns Harbor, Indiana
Burns Harbor Bulk Storage Facility (awarded $4,000,000)

The project will convert a vacant gravel yard into a multimodal bulk storage facility. The project will create supply chain improvements in the safe, efficient, and reliable transportation of bulk cargoes. It will also generate benefits including reducing transportation costs, minimizing highway congestion, and maintenance costs, reducing environmental impacts, and improving transportation safety.

Avondale, Louisiana
Avondale Dock Conversion Project (awarded $9,880,000)

This grant will help convert a former Avondale Shipyard wharf to a modern cargo dock. Once transformed, the dock will enable the Avondale Industrial Marine District (AIMD) port facility to handle dry bulk and breakbulk cargoes more effectively in general commerce from the west bank of the Mississippi River and will also help to improve truck traffic flow. This project is in an Opportunity Zone.

Baltimore, Maryland
Sparrows Point Bulk Expansion Rail Modernization and Berth Rehabilitation Mid-Atlantic Multi-Modal Transportation Hub (awarded $9,880,000)

This grant will add additional waterside access, create a bulk import and export terminal, install a modern gate complex, and upgrade the heavy-duty road network. Furthermore, the project will upgrade rail connectivity and repair all degraded utilities.

Portland, Maine
Linking Intermodal Needs and Rural Freight Knowledge – LINK Project (awarded $4,098,360)

This grant will fund the modernization of gates and scales, improvements to existing warehouses, and rail improvements at a bulk transfer facility to improve the intermodal efficiency of the port. The project is in an opportunity zone.

Kansas City, Missouri
Missouri River Terminal Intermodal Facility (awarded $9,880,000)

This grant will be used to provide regional access to the marine river network, rail, and highway transportation network. This project includes advanced project planning and redevelopment activities of the MRT site such as preventative flooding maintenance, environmental remediation efforts, site design, land acquisition, and limited pavement and rail access development. The project is in an opportunity zone.

Wilmington, North Carolina
Container Gate Innovation & Access (awarded $16,073,244)

This grant will provide for a new container gate to increase throughput capacity by utilizing technology and innovation—including Optical Character Recognition and Weigh-in-Motion Sensors, which will allow drivers to enter and exit the port without stopping for processing. The proposed improvements also allow the Port to streamline container traffic flow throughout the terminal and open up additional yard storage capacity.

Conneaut, Ohio
Port of Conneaut Connector (awarded $19,527,640)

This grant will help connect truck and rail freight to the Port of Conneaut, a Great Lakes deep-water port on the shores of Lake Erie. The project entails construction of: a dredge material facility to maintain shipping access to the Port along the Conneaut Creek channel; a new 1.64-mile roadway from US 20 to the Port of Conneaut; and a new rail spur infrastructure to connect the East Conneaut Industrial Park to the Port of Conneaut. The connector will provide critical infrastructure needed to facilitate commercial/industrial development in a region lacking “last mile” truck freight connectivity to its Great Lakes port.

Coos Bay, Oregon
Coos Bay Rail Line Phase II Tie and Surfacing Program (awarded $9,880,000)

This grant will rehabilitate and replace ties and resurface track at various locations along the Coos Bay Rail Line (CBRL). This project proposes to replace 67,000 crossties and resurface main line, sidings, an industrial lead, rail yard and spur tracks with ballast along the 121 miles of track that stretches from Eugene to Coos Bay, Oregon. The project is in an opportunity zone.

North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Unlocking the South Berth at Pier 1 (awarded $11,141,000)

This grant will support the reconstruction of the South Face of Pier 1, which involves the replacement of a portion of the face of the pier with a steel pile supported concrete pier structure. This project will bring the southern berth at the Pier to a state where it can be utilized to accommodate the burgeoning auto import and export industry, bringing the total number of available roll-on, roll-off berths at the Port of Davisville from two to three.

Brownsville, Texas
Grain & Bulk Handling Facility Development, Expansion and Upgrade Project (awarded $14,504,850)

This grant will support the development, expansion and upgrade of a grain and bulk handling facility. The project consists of fixed landside, rail, and road improvements, as well as related planning and other development activities. Once completed, the project will improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of goods. The project is in an Opportunity Zone.

Port Arthur, Texas
Port of Port Arthur Navigation District (awarded $9,722,223)

This grant will support the replacement of aging critical port infrastructure while improving cargo mobility and productivity. The project will include the deconstruction and removal of a metal clad dockside transit shed, reconditioning of a concrete slab, the erection of a building providing useable storage and approximately a covered area for all-weather truck and rail loading.

Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk International Terminals Central Rail Yard Expansion Project (awarded $20,184,999)

This grant supports the construction of eight working tracks—which will create two bundles of four tracks each, in addition to a center working area for transferring and staging containers. Associated lead-in tracks will incorporate turnouts and switches from the terminal’s main rail line and vehicle crossings. Additionally, the project will create a return access road that will separate rail dray traffic returning to the container yard from general truck traffic.

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Crown Bay Terminal Improvements Project (awarded $21,869,260)

This funding will support the reconstruction and modernization of cargo handling and storage infrastructure at the Crown Bay Terminal. The project includes bulkhead rehabilitation, concrete apron restoration, reconstruction of three cargo storage areas; and security improvements including lighting, fencing and fire protection.  The project will facilitate more efficient cargo movement both into and out of St. Thomas. The project is in an Opportunity Zone.

Bellingham, Washington
Bellingham Shipping Terminal Rehabilitation Project (awarded $6,854,770)

This grant will support construction of a larger, more robust heavy load area and the removal of rock outcrops in front of Berth 1 that limit the draft of ships docking at the facility. The project is in an Opportunity Zone.

Seattle, Washington
Terminal 5 Uplands Modernization and Rehabilitation Project: Final Phase (awarded $10,687,333)

This grant will support infrastructure improvements including surfacing, paving, and reinforcement of a terminal-wide storm water treatment system. Additionally, the project will focus on upsizing electric refrigerated plug capacity and on-terminal rail infrastructure improvements.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

DHL Express delivers first shipments from Israel to the UAE

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DHL becomes the first delivery expert to establish logistic routes from Israel to the UAE. Image: DHL
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DHL Express, the world leader in logistics and express delivery, has contributed to setting up trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates as the first logistics provider in the region to complete a shipment from Israel to the UAE. Trade between the countries has been set up since September 15, after the recent negotiation of a peace agreement. The development further strengthens DHL’s network by connecting major hubs in metropolises such as Tel Aviv and Dubai.

John Pearson, Global CEO DHL Express, stated: “We at DHL firmly believe in globalization and that open borders are key to enhancing economic productivity across the globe. With the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE now in effect, our global DHL network made it possible to quickly establish new logistic routes between the two countries. We are convinced that both states will benefit from the increasing flow of goods. What is more, it will invigorate the prosperity of the entire Middle East region as trade will expand further.”

DHL became the first logistics expert to successfully complete a shipment from Israel to the United Arab Emirates, with a very special delivery. After receiving the official approval to initiate trade, Yair Biton, CEO DHL Express Israel, sent a limited-edition coin celebrating the peace agreement to his colleagues in the UAE. The coin was stamped by the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation.

Yair Biton comments: “Beyond the wide-ranging potential between the business communities on both sides, the UAE’s connections and trade contacts with various countries are very intensive and provide Israeli businesses with a gateway to the Arab World. Our international network enables our customers’ new business across borders, according to our mission of ‘connecting people, improving lives’.”

Geoff Walsh, Country Manager, DHL Express UAE stated: “DHL has always been committed to supporting the initiatives of the UAE government.  Our decision to begin the service lane operating flights between the UAE and Israel will further promote trade and commerce between the two countries, as well as energizing bi-lateral relations. We are jointly working towards boosting investment, collaboration and knowledge-sharing across these key business sectors.”

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