On May 9, 2011, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced the launch of an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that will record the hours worked by employees and the wages they are owed.  The application will be available in English and Spanish and will allow users to record their regular work hours, break time, and overtime hours for more than one employer.  The application will also enable users to view a summary of their work hours and email the summary of work hours and pay as an attachment.

According to the DOL, “this new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records.”  The DOL has further provided that “this information could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records.”

The DOL is currently exploring making the application available for other smartphones such as BlackBerry and Android.  Additionally, the DOL has stated that it intends to update the application to include wage and hour issues not currently provided for, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.

The DOL’s launch of this application only further highlights the need for employers to keep accurate time and payroll records for employees.  Up to now, employees typically contested the records maintained by employers with nothing more than their opinion and recollection of events. This application, however, should enable employees to challenge the calculation of their pay with detailed records and notes.