Tracking Workers' Time Under the FLSA's Overtime Rule

Friday, July 8, 2016

Have a question about the new Overtime Rule? Feel free to reach out to us at We've found the Department of Labor's Questions and Answers webpage helpful. This one on tracking workers' time may be of interest as you address specific positions impacted by the new rule.

Q. Won't this rule be difficult for employers because they will have to track workers' hours?

No. Almost every employer already has systems and policies in place for dealing with overtime eligible employees so the rule isn't introducing any new obligations for employers or requiring them to adopt new systems. These existing systems can be used for newly overtime-protected employees impacted by the Final Rule.

There is no requirement that employees "punch in" and "punch out." Employers and employees have flexibility in designing systems to make sure appropriate records are kept to track overtime hours. As long as records are complete and accurate as to the number of hours worked each day, employers may use any method they choose.

For an employee who works a fixed schedule, an employer need not track the employee's exact hours worked each day; rather, the employer and employee can agree to a default schedule that reflects daily and weekly hours, and indicate that the employee followed the agreed-upon schedule. Only when the employee deviates from the schedule is the employer required to record the changes to the hours worked.

For employees with a flexible schedule, an employer does not need to require an employee to sign in each time she starts and stops work. The employer must keep an accurate record of the number of daily hours worked by the employee. So an employer could allow an employee to just provide the total number of hours she worked each day, including the number of overtime hours, by the end of each pay period.

Many employees, both exempt and non-exempt, who maintain flexible work schedules track their daily and weekly hours by simply recording their hours worked for the employer. Wage and Hour has material available to help employers figure out what system works best for them and their employees. See Fact Sheet 21: Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

NLBMDA 7/8/2016

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