The DC Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act has its heart in the right place. Too many workers are shamefully exploited. But rather than crafting legislation that targets the kind of employers where most of the abuse cluster, the Act sweeps up everyone, assumes the worst, and imposes an across-the-board penalty: a burdensome record-keeping requirement with which it will be difficult and expensive for most organizations to comply.
Specifically, the time-in/time-out mandate (even for exempt salaried employees) will, in many instances, force organizations to change their time and attendance processes and software. You can’t just say “I worked eight hours on Tuesday.” You have to report your precise time of arrival and departure. Many of the systems that organizations are using do not support this.
Our timesheet system, DATABASICS Time, does have this feature and we are working with our DC customers now to minimize the impact of compliance on employees and administrators. Eventually, DC employers will either comply with the law, ignore it, or move out of the District.
Business will go on, hopefully with less wage theft. The District, though in pursuit of a laudable goal, is managing to inflict pointless pain on businesses that are innocent by-standers in all of this. The District should pull back, invite business interests in, and put together a solution for wage theft that is a win-win for both workers and employers alike.
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