The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") recently announced the launch of a free application (or "app") for smartphones, which will enable employees to independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. The app allows users to track regular work hours, break times, and any overtime hours for one or more employers in an easy-to-use electronic timesheet, available in both English and Spanish. Additionally, through the app, users will be able to add comments on any information related to their work hours, view a summary of work hours in daily, weekly, and monthly formats, and email the summary of work hours and gross pay as an attachment. Currently, the app is compatible with the IPhone and IPod Touch. The DOL is exploring similar apps for other smartphones, as well as updates for the current app, which would allow users to record tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, weekend pay, shift differentials, and pay for regular days of rest.

The new app signals a modern approach to the DOL's enforcement of wage and hour laws. Instead of relying on employers' records alone, the DOL will now have access to employees' independent records of hours worked and wages earned. This development serves as an important reminder for employers to ensure proper compliance with wage and hour laws, particularly recordkeeping requirements.