April 09, 2013
While large amounts of labor-related data and documentation is often collected by employers as part of the regular course of business, this data may not tell the whole story, or even a sufficient part of the story, in many issues related to labor code compliance. For example, the burden of proof lies with the employer in proving whether an employee is correctly classified as having exempt status. However, many employers do not have a good understanding of the types of activities performed by their employees to present to a Court or other government agency, should a question or issue ever arise. In such cases, Resolution Compliance, through our experience and partnership with Resolution Economics, and working with the employer’s in-house or outside Counsel, provides a number of unique solutions to help fill in the missing information and make an employer’s compliance more guided and comprehensive. Our solutions can be combined and customized, depending on the particular situation. Select one of the following links to learn more about what we offer:
Surveys can be an effective tool for gathering data, especially in cases where observation studies cannot be implemented. One example involves collecting data about former employees. Surveys also allow for capturing so-called “mental content,” in which the subject’s responses allow for an analysis of why an activity was performed, or how the subject interpreted a particular activity. Surveys can also be used in conjunction with observation studies, both to increase a sample size at a lower cost, and to validate the survey and observation study. We have extensive experience in designing and conducting surveys, in paper and electronic formats, by mail, phone, or in-person. We custom-design each survey, and test it thoroughly before implementation to ensure that it is capturing what is intended.
In-person observation studies allow employers to truly understand the nature of their employee’s daily activities. Such studies are extremely helpful in monitoring exempt status, donning and doffing, off-the-clock work, tipped vs. non-tipped work, time clock practices/fraud, among others. Traditional data collection does not capture information with such granular detail and accuracy. Observation studies literally provide a minute-by-minute narrative of an employee’s day. We have extensive experience designing and conducting such studies, as we have conducted literally thousands of hours of observations. Despite having performed numerous studies, we design each study individually to match the needs of the particular client and issue at hand.
For such studies to be valid, they must be supported by statistical methods. For each study, we ensure that an appropriate statistical sampling technique is employed. In cases where we observe a random sample of subjects, we ensure that our sample is both valid and representative, so that the results of the study can be applied to the population as a whole. Resolution Compliance uses trained, full-time staff to shadow subjects with small, modern handheld devices with our proprietary data capture software to create a continuous and very detailed data. Our observers minimize contact with and maintain an appropriate distance from the subject being observed, while making sure that they have a full understanding of the activities being performed to ensure the most accurate and reliable results possible. We work closely with company management so that the entire study process interferes as little as possible with the course of daily work.
Furthermore, we understand that in-person observation studies must be unobtrusive so that the subject employees do not alter their behavior.
In certain cases, in-person observation studies may not be optimal. In such situations, we coordinate, install, capture, and review video from mounted security cameras, from which we create a complete data record for analysis. The benefits of video observation studies include: the video cameras are small and unobtrusive; they can capture data continuously and throughout the year, making systematic compliance analysis simple, they provide an evidentiary record of what employees actually do, as opposed to what employees say they do, or what an independent observer captures; they serve additional purposes to the employer, such as loss prevention and accident/worker’s compensation monitoring. Just like our in-person observation studies, our video analyses are customized to meet the specific need of each Client. Our staff observes the recorded video utilizing our proprietary, patented observation software, which can then be thoroughly analyzed and summarized. Furthermore, we can provide snapshots or “day in the life” videos, which can serve many purposes, including presentation to senior management, or in the cases of potential litigation.