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biometric fingerprinting new jersery union employees New Jersey

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  • biometric fingerprinting new jersery union employees New Jersey

    Can new jersey union employees legally be fingerprinted by their employer; for time clock "punching"?

    For example, New York's Labor Law prohibits employers from fingerprinting employees unless required to do so by law.

  • #2
    This is not the same as a crimninal background check using fingerprints. It is legal.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      Agree. Biometric fingerprint identification systems are different and not illegal for employers to use. And especially so if your union agrees with it.


      • #4
        Biometrics timeclocks are not fingerprints. The system takes your finger or handprint and turns it into a numeric equation that is stored. The equation is then compared each time you punch.


        • #5
          In the 1980s I worked at a place where everyone had ID badges with a bar code on the badge. The factory workers would (in theory) "clock in" at one of the door readers and then every time they finished working on a task, would "finish" the task at a different type of reader station. The aggregate time of all finished tasks would in theory be the hours worked for the day.

          We had an employee's spouse call in on Monday, saying that the employee had been arrested and would miss a few days work. Not the first time something like that had happened. The problem is the employee had "clocked in" even though he was actually in jail. Turns out the factory workers had made up sheets of bar codes and were in the habit of having the first person showing up clocking in their friends as well. Which worked, for a while. What these rocket scientists failed to consider is that the door clocks were next to doors leading in/out of the building and that we had security cameras watching each outside door. Whoops. Not really intended as a backup for the time clocks, but necessity is the mother of invention.

          Better yet, management started reviewing the security camera recordings and found all sort of interesting things. Such as employees stealing cases of coffee from the break rooms. More whoops.

          Alternatively, employees would complain that they punched in but there was no record. I did some controlled testing, several hundred punches, and the system was indeed dropping several percent of the "clock in" punches. Management hated to hear that because they had convinced themselves that every missing punch was an employee who was not working. (CA-DLSE did not buy that argument). We altered the programming to auto number each "transaction". The numbers where meaningless consecutive numbers, but when we had a punch dropped, it left a hole. We had the supervisors get off their lazy backsides (there is a concept) and talk to THEIR employees every time we had a hole in the data. One problem with "smart" systems is that it seems to make the supervisors even dumber for some reason.

          A certain percentage of employees will try to game the time accounting system. If they get away with it, that percentage will grow. Any system can be gamed, but modern biometric readers are harder to game then most. But at the end of the day, supervisors still need to do THEIR jobs, no matter what system is being used.

          I personally like e-time sheets, where the employee claims whatever time they claim, but bad things happen to them if they get caught lying. The supervisors are supposed to know when THEIR people are working and what those people are doing. No matter how good the automated system is, there are going to be mistakes. Sometimes deliberate mistakes. SOMEONE needs to take responsibility for reviewing the data.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


          • #6
            DAW, we use handscan timeclocks. I actually had an employee claim he didn't punch when we showed he did. I told him that unless he gave his hand to someone else that he had punched.

            My best guess is this. It was Halloween and he was drunk and lived on property. So when he came home from a party (which he had said he was at) he punched without thinking and then went to his apartment.

            All I wanted was confirmation that he didn't work so I could delete the punch but it was one weird conversation.