Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oh, You Mean You Have to WORK to Get Paid?

Suppose you have a system that has been proven to simplify the process of tracking work time without requiring employees to carry no additional badges or cards, can automate what is a historically time-consuming and paper-laden process, and can vastly reduce overpayment or underpayment from people underestimating or overestimating their time worked.

In the private sector, great.

In the public sector, forget it.
Employees at a growing number of businesses are starting and ending their days by pressing a hand or finger to a scanner that logs the precise time of their arrival and departure - information that is automatically reflected in payroll records.

Manufacturers say these biometric devices improve efficiency and streamline payroll operations. Employers big and small buy them with the dual goals of keeping workers honest and automating outdated record-keeping systems that rely on paper time sheets.

The new systems have raised complaints, however, from some workers who see the efforts to track their movements as excessive or creepy.

"They don't even have to hire someone to harass you anymore. The machine can do it for them," said Ed Ott, executive director of the New York City Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO.

Gee, I wonder why union members would be so opposed to a system that requires them to actually be physically there to be counted as present?

No idea.
Nearly half the entries made into the city sanitation division's time card system were fraudulent, resulting in employees' being paid for time they didn't work, according to a city audit released Friday.

Of the more than 3,000 "punches" made into the system in the Brush and Bulky Division in the past year, between 1,400 and 1,500 of the punches made by supervisors led to paying an employee for time not worked — a scheme called "buddy punching.".......

Deputy City Manager Mike Letcher and Assistant City Manager Karen Masbruch said one of the reasons city officials found out about the fraud was that employees in the West Side Division were lodging complaints about the unit's supervisor because he was not allowing them to buddy punch.

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