The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently launched its first application (app) for smartphones — a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine they are owed. The app is free and allows employees to keep their own records instead of relying on their employers' records. As the DOL notes, the information could be useful in a DOL investigation. The app works with the iPhone and iPod Touch and allows employees to track regular work hours, overtime hours and break time. The DOL will explore versions for other smartphones, such as Android and Blackberry, and other features, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, weekend pay, shift differentials and rest-day pay.

The app highlights the importance of accurate time records and will make it much easier for technically savvy employees to file wage and hour claims against employers. Employers should carefully review their timekeeping policies and practices to make sure non-exempt employees accurately record and report all hours worked. This includes hours worked outside the employee's regular work hours and hours worked away from the employer's place of business. Employers should also make certain that the employees treated as exempt do, in fact, satisfy the Fair Labor Standards Act's requirements to be classified as exempt.