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11. Do your time cards all look the same?

When you've seen one time card on a particular employee, have you seen them all? Do your employees sign their scheduled hours instead of their actual hours? If your answers to the above questions are "yes", then you may be in trouble!

Wage and Hour investigators proceed on the assumption that no employee works the same hours week in and week out...and there is some truth to this theory. It is highly unlikely that any employee would be able to work a fixed number of hours, such as 45, every week for an entire year. At first, this might seem strange to some persons, but in reality it is not so strange when it is realized that the Department of Labor requires time to be kept to the nearest quarter hour daily. Most automotive related businesses must work their employees a little past quitting time occasionally. In addition, most employees are late once in a while and also need time off for personal reasons at times.

WHAT TO DO? Even it your employees do work exactly 45 hours week in and week out, it would be a good idea to let them work a little over and a little under their schedule at times and let their pay fluctuate accordingly. Why? Because straight salaries are greatly increased. On the other hand, a few minor fluctuations in hours and pay greatly decrease this possibility.

ANOTHER CAUTION! If you work an employee 36 hours one week and 44 the next, you cannot pay them a straight 40 hours each week. You can pay them straight time for the 36 hours, but in the week they worked 44 hours, they must be paid for the four overtime hours at time-and-one-half!

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