Are you paid by the hour in California? If so, it’s important to properly document how many hours you work in a given day.
Although your employer will hopefully never try to cheat you out of the pay you’ve earned, this can happen. You may file a claim or lawsuit if it ever does. Your odds of winning a case will be greater if you can provide documentation showing you worked certain hours that you were not paid for.
How you record the number of hours you’ve worked can vary depending on the nature of your job and workplace. For example, like many in recent years, you may have switched to a primarily or fully remote work environment. As such, your methods for recording the hours you’ve worked may need some degree of adjustment.
If you work remotely, ways to track your hours include:
Ideally, your employer will already use a tool or software through which remote employees can track their hours. If they haven’t set this type of tool up yet, you could use one yourself. Consider letting your employer know you’re using it so there are no disputes if you ever need to use records from this tool as evidence in any future legal proceedings.
This is a low-tech alternative to the above. While a journal itself may not count as strong evidence of hours worked if you were to ever file a claim against your employer, a journal could prove helpful if you were to use it to not only record your hours but also to record what specific tasks/projects you may have worked on during those hours. Any other evidence that you worked on those specific tasks (such as the edit history on a shared document) could corroborate your journal entries, helping you demonstrate that you were actively working during hours for which you might not have received pay.
Do you keep in touch with your supervisor and/or coworkers through a chat tool? If so, ask your supervisor if you can record your hours worked by sending them check-ins throughout the day letting them know what tasks you have completed. For example, after spending two hours completing paperwork, you can send a quick message to your employer, telling them what work you’ve done and what work you’re moving on. You can send these messages through email if you don’t use a chat tool.
Like a journal, these check-ins might not necessarily prove you were working for an exact number of hours. However, they could bolster your argument by showing that you were consistently keeping in touch with your employer throughout the day to update them on your progress, thus indicating you were actively attending to work tasks.
These are just a few suggestions to keep in mind. Regardless, of whether you work remotely or not, you must understand that winning a case against an employer who you believe hasn’t paid you fairly for the hours you’ve worked is often easier when you have assistance from qualified legal professionals. At JML Law, a Long Beach wage and hour issues attorney in Los Angeles is on hand to help you build a strong case. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 818-610-8800.