by Howard Tarnoff, Senior Vice President, Ceridian.
The topic of fair wages has received a lot of press over the last year. On the legislative front both state and federal politicians have worked to either increase the minimum wage, or more often just discuss it. Legislators have lobbied for and against the effort, using some variation of ‘will provide a livable wage’ or ‘will hamstring business’ – depending on their perspectives. On a government front, more state and federal agencies have indicated their willingness to work together to make sure the FLSA and similar laws are properly understood and enforced. And on the legal front, these same agencies have vowed to work hand in hand with States’ Attorney Generals and others to investigate and, when called for, prosecute employers who are found to be paying their employees less than what they’re owed.
Changing Political and Legal Landscape
In addition to the changing politics already mentioned, the enforcement landscape is becoming more cohesive in pursuit of employers who commit wage and hour violations. In one recent case, the New York Attorney General obtained a conviction for wage fraud. The perpetrator not only paid a large fine, but also served time. The jail time is an example of how agencies are joining to align their collective efforts and bring rogue employers to justice.
Do the Right Thing
With regard to paying wages and managing hours the vast majority of employers have a clear conscience because they do the right thing every day, day in and day out. Most employers understand that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. These organizations understand that when it comes to the single most expensive item on their budgets (labor), there is a reason why doing the right thing makes business sense. Employees who have no questions or concerns about the amounts or timeliness of their pay, are happier, more productive employees.
Use a Great Solution
Finally, the first, best step employers can take is to make sure they have a robust, comprehensive human capital management (HCM) solution. In particular, the HCM solution should have comprehensive workforce management capabilities, so employees can easily and quickly make and check schedules, enter and track time, and perform many other time and attendance tasks. Employers should have full visibility into their workforce, at an individual employee level as well as by teams, shifts, company-wide and more. A comprehensive HCM solution provides the needed visibility into an organization’s workforce to allow it to manage compliance, with labor laws.
You can judge a home builder by the tools he or she brings to bear on the task. Similarly, you can judge an employer’s commitment to the wage and hour laws (and their employees) by the HCM tools they have and use.
Legislators and lawyers seem to be ramping up their efforts surrounding wage and hour laws. Smart employers are well positioned to deal with it.
Howard Tarnoff is Senior Vice President for Ceridian, responsible for launching and overseeing the Award Winning Customer Success Program “XOXO” and other initiatives. With over 30 years of HCM experience, Howard is a highly sought after thought leader in the industry, especially for his insightful trend analysis. His deep domain expertise across multiple verticals, leadership experience and deep understanding of the HCM industry make him an invaluable asset to Ceridian. Follow him on Twitter @htarnoff.