Employment Law Report

There’s An App For That!

By Michelle D. Wyrick

As we move into the dog days of summer, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has announced its launch of a smartphone application that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites.  The app, which is available in English and Spanish, is supposed to help prevent heat-related illnesses.  It uses heat index data and the user’s location to provide information about precautions that workers may take, such as taking rest breaks, drinking fluids, and adjusting work operations.  The app also allows users to review the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and to learn emergency first aid measures.  Workers can also use the app to contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration directly.

The heat index app is the DOL’s second app for smartphones.  Its first, which was released earlier this year, enables employees to track the hours they work, their break times, and any overtime hours worked.  The DOL is exploring updates to this app that would permit employees to track other items such as tips, bonuses, commissions, deductions, and premium pay.