Time Data Systems – August 2021 Newsletter

The Times (And Regulations) They Are A ‘Changing

Does your timekeeping, payroll, and HR provider keep your systems up to date on compliance?

Regulations are evolving and changes are happening, especially because of the new administration in Washington D.C, It’s important to know that the changes are not just because of COVID-19. State and federal courts are issuing new rulings that change the interpretations of many longstanding practices. State and federal regulators are issuing new guidance on existing rules in jurisdictions across the United States. And all of this is happening at an accelerated and accelerating pace.

Arizona’s minimum wages have increased again, now at $12.15 statewide, and Flagstaff’s minimum wage is $15.00 per hour. While Arizona’s Prop 207 legalized recreational marijuana, the Act explicitly states that employers can maintain drug-free workplace policies, and continue to restrict the use of marijuana by employees or by prospective employees and on their property. Do you know your company’s rights?

California courts issued rulings that effectively end rounding of employee time for meals and breaks. In July, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling mandating that missed meals and breaks be paid at premium pay (which includes OT, shift premiums, commissions, and bonuses) – not at base pay.

In the states of Washington, Oregon, and California, there are new safety requirements for agriculture, construction, and landscaping regarding access to breaks for water and shade in times of excessive heat. The new rules include provisions mandating the availability of shaded areas for meals and breaks, and regularly scheduled cool down periods. Oregon has issued rules allowing employees to utilize leave for absences connected to the air quality index or heat index if affected areas include the employer’s place of business or the employee’s home address.

It is more important than ever that employers correctly track employees’ time on and off the clock.  We can help.

You have questions, we have solutions.

Jerry Friedman
Founder & CEO

The Increase in Minimum Wage Does NOT Have to Mean a Decrease in Staff

As you read in our first article this month, the minimum wage has increased in Arizona, with the city of Flagstaff mandating a higher hourly wage than the state. Other states and municipalities have done the same in recent years. Both sides of the debate – for and against raising minimum wage, especially the latest figure of $15 per hour – have valid points, reasons, and trepidations. For example, many owners have expressed concern that requiring higher wages be paid would mean cutting hours for current employees or decreasing staffing levels. If recent increases affect your business, and you are legally required to adhere to these changes, there are steps you can take to maintain or boost the spirits of your staff and their productivity, ensure satisfied customers, and that your company continues to endure, and even thrive.

The Right Current Employees in The Right Jobs

Making sure staff with the appropriate skills and experience are in the right positions is extremely important, especially when wages have increased. Taking a look at this can eliminate inefficiencies, redundancies, and manual tasks that could be automated, and that allows your company to maximize productivity and revenue.

In many organizations, duties that human resources departments are responsible for are still done manually. Our solutions simplify human capital management by automating time and attendance, scheduling, absences, leave requests, payroll, expense reimbursements, and tracking non-worked hours.

Bring in New Employees with the Right Aptitudes and Change Some Approaches

Nationwide, businesses are reporting difficulties finding and hiring staff, adding that it isn’t due to a lack of talent or skill, but more the lingering effects of the federal government’s COVID-19 relief and CARES Act. There’s no denying that millions of Americans needed the assistance these actions provided, but as with almost anything designed to provide immediate, necessary help, there are longer-term consequences not always able to be predicted ahead of time. Also, prospective employees are looking for different benefits and working arrangements than even just a few years ago.

While more specific job postings narrow the field of qualified candidates, describing exactly what you’re looking for gives a better chance of finding exactly the newest employee that your company needs. And with the impressive improvement in remote working software and capabilities over the past 2 years, it might be possible to mitigate that narrowed pool of prospective workers by offering remote work positions, which opens up the candidate pool geographically. This arrangement has become increasingly popular, as has the option to work as a full-time or part-time employee, as an independent contractor, or even on a project basis.

It’s important to remember short-term decisions often have long-term impacts to your organization. Worries related to the increase in minimum wage has led some business owners to decrease their staff, and while this is understandable, either the future consequences of doing so were not considered significant or it seemed financially as though there was no other choice. Not only can staff or hours reductions negatively impact employee morale, but hiring, onboarding, and training new members of the team costs money and time (and as we all know, time is money). Experts have estimated that replacing lower-level employees can cost up to 50% of the annual salary offered for those positions, and up to 400% for more skilled or specialized occupations.

Other Areas to Cut Expenses or Streamline

Instead of opting to decrease staff in an effort to lessen any burden from the increase in minimum wage, it might be eye-opening to look at how your firm is operating and where there might be wastefulness, lost revenue, or opportunities to tighten the monetary belt. Taking a hard look at the procedures and processes of the business often reveals possibilities to cut costs.

For example, is the company still renting office space large enough for 50 employees when most of them are remotely working? You may be able to cut your overhead expenses with a smaller office space or a virtual office or co-working environment. Are your receivables being followed up on in a timely manner and payments tracked as needed? When was the last time purchasing researched the cost of materials from other vendors, to ensure you’re getting competitive prices, or can you leverage your volume to get a better prices from your current suppliers?

The service industry is particularly vulnerable to inefficiencies when it comes to workforce management. Utilizing a solution like the ones we offer can help practically eliminate lost revenue and certain expenses. Customers of ours have been able to replace antiquated systems with time clocks featuring biometrics, clock-ins that are geotagged, and mobile applications for timecard and scheduling efficiency. Utilizing our easy-to-use yet robust systems with these features means no more replacing costly lost ID cards needed for clocking in and out, knowing your employee is actually at their designated work location when they indicate they are beginning their shift, and less correcting of timesheets. These are just a few specific cost and time saving benefits out of the numerous ones our human capital management solutions offer.

You Know What They Say About Making Money…

The old adage really does ring true – Sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make money. Yes, we are talking about the impact of rising expenses from the increase in minimum wage, but with the technology now available, chances are quite good that spending some money now really will save you more in the long run. And cost management doesn’t automatically equate to not spending any money, especially if that money is going toward tools that are designed to streamline, automate, ferret out inefficiencies and waste, or otherwise save time and capital.

Human resources and managing your workforce are both indispensable parts of running a successful, growing business. Unfortunately though, many times in these two aspects of operating a company, there are substantial inefficiencies and much room for improvement. Using the newest technology offered by Time Data Systems for time and attendance, scheduling, absences and shift coverage, payroll, productivity, and more can help you find ways other than decreasing staff to navigate the recent minimum wage increases in certain parts of the country, and those to come soon in others. Additionally, our solutions offer full, seamless integration with the most commonly used HR and payroll software on the market.

Federal Minimum Wage and the Price of Snacking

Even though it’s 100% true, it’s hard to fathom a time when the federal hourly minimum wage in America was what it costs now to get a Dubble Bubble gumball out of a candy machine. Can you imagine working for an hour just to buy that?!

We thought it would be interesting to take a look at some snapshots in time of the minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), some notable events to reminisce on, and the then prices of 4 of America’s most iconic and favorite foods available on each date in history.

(Well, as close to the listed date as possible, and the best information we could find through our research. Please keep in mind prices would have been different depending on where the items were bought, among other factors.)

If you’d like an in-depth look at how the Fair Labor Standards Act came to be, and the bumpy road it took to get it enacted, we invite you to read our “History of the FLSA” article.

This list below does not reflect every single change under the FLSA, as since 1938, every few years or so the minimum wage was increased, except where noted below. While July 2009 is the last time Congress set a figure, over half of US states have mandated a higher rate per hour, and that takes precedence.


Federal Minimum Wage Per Hour

Campbell’s Tomato Soup (≈14.5 oz)

Hershey Bar (plain, weight as below)

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (per 12 ozs) Oreo Cookies (weight as below)
Oct 24, 1938
The FLSA established an hourly minimum wage & the US forbids child labor in factories
25¢ 5¢ / 1.38 oz 20¢ 14¢ / 4.5 oz
Oct 24, 1945
The month following the end of World War II
UN’s Charter takes effect
40¢ 5¢ / 1.63 oz 14¢ 15¢ / 4.5 oz
Mar 1, 1956
Mar 3: Elvis Presley’s 1st top 14 hit (“Heartbreak Hotel”)
$1.00 11¢ 5¢ / 1 oz 22¢ 33¢ / 11.75 oz
Sep 3, 1963
Sep 2: AL Gov George Wallace prevented integration of Tuskegee High School
$1.25 14¢ 5¢ / .88 oz 23¢ 45¢ / lb
Feb 1, 1968
Former US VP Richard Nixon announces candidacy for president
$1.60 11¢ 5¢ / .75 oz 26¢ 45¢ / lb
Jan 1, 1975
4 of Nixon’s advisors and aides (including his Chief of Staff) are convicted of Watergate crimes
$2.14 20¢ 15¢ / 1.05 oz 45¢ 89¢ / 15 oz
Jan 1, 1981 Jan 15: “Hill Street Blues” premieres Jan 20: Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th President of the USA $3.35 97¢ for 4

(≈24¢ each)

25¢ / 1.05 oz 75¢ $1.69 / 19 oz
Apr 1, 1990

Apr 8: “Twin Peaks” premieres Apr 15: “In Living Color” premieres
$3.80 $1.00 for 3

(≈33¢ each)

45¢ / 1.55 oz $1.33 $2.69 / lb
Sep 1, 1997
Aug 29: Netflix (an online DVD rental business) is founded
Aug 31: Princess Diana in fatal Paris car crash
Sep 1: Jerry Lewis’ 32nd MDA telethon raises $30.5 million
$5.15 $1.00 for 2

(30¢ each)

30¢ / 1.55 oz $1.73 $2.89 / lb

Jul 24, 2007

Jul 11: 5th Harry Potter film is released

Jul 19: “Mad Men” premieres

$5.85 $1.00 for 2

(30¢ each)

79¢ / 1.45 oz $2.99 $3.79 / lb

Jul 24, 2009

Jul 15: 6th Harry Potter film is released

$7.25 $1.00 for 2

(30¢ each)

95¢ / 1.55 oz $3.39 $4.29 / 18 oz

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