Gerber: 3 Million dollar fine for poor time and attendance.

A Supreme court ruling for an Arkansas case is requiring Gerber to pay 3 Million dollars in back wages to its employees for the time that they spend donning and doffing their uniforms. Gerber employees claim that they have to spend 4 hours a week pressing, using a lint roller and taking off and putting on their uniforms.

The disagreement arose from a Union agreement that the Gerber would not be required to pay for employee time which changing uniforms and walking to and from their workstations.

However, in 2014, a Sebastian Court disagreed and ruled that employers are required to include this time in the employee’s pay. Another aspect of the ruling states that the small amount of prep time for employees to prepare their uniforms is not a negotiable item between the unions and the companies and that companies can not negotiate that paid time away as part of a compromise for other benefits.

Under Arkansas’s state labor laws, employers receive a benefit for employees donning uniforms and are not allowed to receive that benefit for free, i.e. to avoid payment employees wearing uniforms.

However, Gerber contended that under the Federal Labor Standards Act, an exception exists which does give them the ability to bargain  collective bargaining agreements for donning and doffing uniforms and that the state should allow for the same exemptions.

Although this seems like a trivial detail in time and attendance, companies have to be more diligent than ever to ensure that they are following state regulations. This recent Supreme Court ruling leaves a void open in the disparity between Federal Exemptions and State law as it applies to payroll and time and attendance requirements.

This makes it harder for businesses to ensure that they are staying compliant with the FLSA.  Many small businesses attempt to manage their payroll in house, without consulting a payroll company. However, this leaves them open to future litigation and fines. Hiring a specialist in time and attendance is a vital step that can save thousands, if not millions of dollars for small businesses.

Swipe Clock provides both workforce management and time and attendance systems so that companies can track and manage employee time. This makes it simple to track employee time upon arrival to work, manage arrival to workstations and track employee location.

Swipe Clock works with payroll companies throughout the United States to provide quality time clocks, tools and software that provide up to date, tools and reporting. Swipe Clock makes it easy to stay compliant with FLSA and State Regulations.

Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated May 31, 2016

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