Labor law compliance, no matter how unglamorous it may seem, is an inevitable part of running a successful business. Given the constantly fluctuating nature of existing hourly employee regulations, the stakes for noncompliance are higher than ever.
No company that employs hourly workers today is immune to labor law compliance struggles. In April, the New York Attorney General’s office sent warning letters to 13 major retailers, including Gap, Target, J.C. Penny and Urban Outfitters, admonishing them for using on-call scheduling practices in ways that violate a state regulation. Around the same time, four Domino’s Pizza franchise owners in New York were ordered to pay nearly $1 million for breaking multiple labor laws, from minimum wage to overtime policies.
It’s common for companies to appoint corporate compliance executives to oversee worker relations and labor law compliance, or rely on tedious paperwork to document these issues, but a c-suite presence and a pile of forms aren’t enough. Companies need a real-time, technology-driven approach to ensure that policies are upheld at every store location and management level.
Regardless of your company size or industry, consider these three ways technology can help you give hourly labor law compliance the effort (and efficiency) it demands:
- Automate record keeping activities: One of the first steps to formalizing a labor law compliance program is documenting existing company procedures and operation activity. Service companies especially need a system in place that can log all shift changes for regional and corporate office managers to pull from as needed. Automating this process minimizes the time and effort required to maintain accurate, up-to-date internal records, and creates an audit trail should your company come under regulatory scrutiny. This also makes it easier to standardize processes across store locations, one less thing to worry about as your company expands.
- Keep up to date on regulatory changes: Local and national labor laws are always evolving, leaving employers to refresh their processes or face steep penalties. In the past few years alone, more than 10 states passed legislation to increase their minimum wage. WorkJam’s recent study of shift managers and store supervisors at U.S. service companies, however, found that 33% don’t even know if their state is currently considering a minimum wage hike. Companies that don’t follow these policy conversations are more likely to miss out on relevant updates. Companies need to seek out shift management technology that can be customized to any mix of regulations, ensuring compliance each time managers set or adjust employee shifts.
- Create feedback loops: Executives and middle managers aren’t the only groups who should be responsible for upholding labor law compliance; hourly workers can play an important role too. Rather than resorting to a physical comment box, companies should develop more accessible (i.e., online and/or mobile) processes for capturing anonymous feedback about specific stores or managers that may be conducting unfair practices unbeknownst to senior management.
Ideally, companies should look for an integrated tool that does all of the above. That’s where the WorkJam Employee Relationship Management Platform comes in. In addition to the platform’s scheduling, shift management, communication and employee reviews, WorkJam also automates all aspects of this compliance process, and gives employees a centralized way to access internal policies, review training materials and give feedback. Learn more about how WorkJam benefits shift managers and hourly employees here.