Friday, November 14, 2008

GPS: Protection from False Overtime Claims?

Proving exactly how many overtime hours an employee has worked is difficult in many overtime cases. And this becomes even more complicated when an employer’s time or pay records are inaccurate.

When this happens, an employee has the burden to prove or satisfy his claim by offering a so-called “convincing substitute” or evidence “sufficient to permit a just and reasonable inference” regarding an employee’s overtime claim.

Now modern technology has something to offer to help both employers and employees resolve a dispute on overtime claims. The article, “Can GPS Help Prove Your Wage Case”, posted on October 31, 2008, gives an insightful look at how the use of a geopositioning (GPS) device can help people in many ways, including proving overtime claims.

In overtime claims, the stronger the inferences one can draw of his time estimates, the more detailed and reliable the evidence should be. And the use of GPS, which most mobile phones have been equipped with, can improve monitoring of employees and help better calculate wage and hour abuses. In a way, an employee’s GPS-enabled cell phone can help him prove his claim too.

However, under California wage and overtime law, some employees remain exempt from overtime claims as enumerated:

• workers covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBA)

• professional, executive and administrative employees

• state and government workers

• taxi cab drivers and outdoor salespersons

• airline employees working more than 40 but less than 60 hours per week on a temporary basis and per their own request

• adult employees whose earnings are more than 50 percent commission, if their total earnings exceed more than one and one half times the minimum wage

• some computer software employees

• commercial fisherman and boat crews, sheepherders and irrigators

• in-home babysitters, student nurses and personal attendants

• parents, spouses or children of the business owner

• professional actors and motion picture projectionists

• carnival ride operators at traveling carnivals