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5/9/2011
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Labor Department Launches iPhone App

The smartphone application lets people keep track of employment hours and wages independently of their employers.

The Department of Labor is the latest federal agency to launch a mobile application with a smartphone app to help people independently keep track of their hours and wages.

The time sheet application, available for the iPhone and iPod, allows people to enter their regular work hours as well as break times and overtime hours for one or a number of employers, according to the department. People can choose to use the application--available for download from the Labor Department website--in English or Spanish.

People can add comments to the information they input and view summaries of work hours in various formats, such as by the day, week, or month. They also can email summaries of work hours or gross pay as attachments. Additionally, the app provides links to department websites with helpful information, such as how to contact the department and information about wage laws.

The department said the purpose of the application is to empower people to keep track of their own employment information in case an employer is not maintaining accurate records and there is a dispute.

"This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said in a press statement.

Indeed, federal agencies increasingly are leveraging mobile devices as a way to better engage with and serve the public, a key goal of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, IRS, FBI, Army, NASA, and even the White House itself all offer free smartphone applications.

The Labor Department is considering future updates for the app that will expand support for other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry. New features being considered for future versions include the ability to input forms of pay other than hourly, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, and holiday pay.

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