Government Time Sheet Regulations

Proper completion, recording and filing of employee time sheets are important not only for payroll purposes, but to ensure compliance with minimum-wage and overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Time records also provide proof that child-labour laws are honoured, show an accounting of how workers' time is spent and a record of time off for vacation, holiday, sick and bereavement leaves.

Recordkeeping Requirements

Time sheets should include name, social security number and employee ID number for each worker, gender, occupation, number of days and hourly breakdown of pay period, credited overtime or compensatory hours, preapproved paid time off, allowable time without pay, pay rate and total wages. The records must be signed by employees and verified and approved by a supervisor.

Compliance Issues

Aside from being payroll records, time sheets prove that employers are paying time-and-a-half for overtime and comp hours, and are honouring hourly restrictions for child workers under 16 years old and prohibitions on the types of jobs allowed for those under 18. For teens working in agriculture, the time sheets prove they are not working during school hours, which is against the law.

Project Management

The information included in time sheets also assists companies, government agencies and contractors in budgeting and cost analysis. Reviewing employment costs helps with planning projections, cost estimates, payroll accounting, pricing and billing for future projects.

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About the Author

A newsroom veteran since 1982, Gail Ferguson Jones has reported and edited for Dow Jones and "The Star-Ledger" in Newark, N.J., and has won first-place awards in deadline and spot-news reporting. Ferguson Jones is a Rutgers University graduate and completed a jounalism fellowship at the University of Missouri.

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