In many regions, labor laws for the service industry strictly limit the number of hours that a non-exempt employee can work. Hours worked can be restricted by the industry, age, job description (position worked), hourly rate, holiday, length of shift, or even the day of the week. If your business works with service unions, these constraints can become even more elaborate. Managers spend hours tracking breaks, meal periods, and denoting whether or not employees chose to take their break. Some states and insurance companies carry out regular Labor and Industries audits, charging heavy fines or imposing insurance premium increases for businesses that do not comply.

Managers schedule around these often changing and convoluted rules, guaranteeing that their business is in agreement with all applicable labor regulations. However, businesses can unintentionally land themselves in a jam when employees neglect to show up, resign, or are terminated for various other valid reasons. Unskilled managers, overwhelmed by other areas of schedule development may break these rules. Rigid fines and lawsuits are the consequence of neglecting to be in compliance.

In erratic economic times managers must be able to schedule labor accurately in a dependable manner, keep employees cheerful, and diminish fines imposed by legislative authorities, such as the Department of Labor. Businesses should seek to use profitable computer systems, such as TimeForge, to guarantee that appropriate scheduling techniques are applied. Scheduling software will be able to schedule meal and break periods, precisely determine overtime costs, and archive earlier schedules for managerial review.

Labor and Industries (L&I) audits are habitual in some US states (California, Washington, Oregon, and New York are especially common) in restaurant, food-service, retail, construction, and hospitality-related industries. These audits are performed by the state or by insurance companies to establish that the business has complied with all applicable regulations. Audits focus on unpaid overtime, minors working too late or too early, break and meal periods that are not properly documented, and other infractions. Rule violations can be disciplined with rigid fines and/or insurance premium increases.

Make sure that all employees are informed of the applicable rules for the city, county, and state/province. Follow federal/national rules (where relevant), corporate rules, and insurance regulations (if relevant). If doable, automated scheduling systems should be applied to carry out these rules lessening the administrative burden placed on managers – permitting management to work on other demanding matters such as training, customer service, and management tasks which cannot be automated by economical technology solutions.

TimeForge can help you avoid fines or imposing insurances premium increases. Sign up for a free trial today!


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