Don't Trust the Boss: Labor Dept. Offers Smartphone 'App' for Tracking Wages

By Susan Jones | May 10, 2011 | 5:32 AM EDT

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (AP File Photo)

( - Instead of relying on the company’s records, employees can now track their own work hours through a new application for smartphones.

The U.S. Labor Department on Monday announced the launch of its first app -- a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed.

“I am pleased that my department is able to leverage increasingly popular and available technology to ensure that workers receive the wages to which they are entitled,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.”

The free app, available in both English and Spanish, allows users to track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours.  A glossary, contact information and materials about wage laws are easily accessible through links to the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division.

"This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records," the news release said. "This information could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records."

The free app is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch, and eventually it may also work with other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry.

For workers without a smartphone, the Wage and Hour Division offers a printable work-hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. "The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers’ rights and how to file a wage violation complaint," the Labor Department said.

Both the app and the calendar can be downloaded from the Wage and Hour Division’s home page.