Some workers are doing it at Dunkin’ Donuts, Hilton hotels, even at Marine Corps bases. Employees at a growing number of businesses around the nation 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 scanners improve efficiency and streamline payroll operations. Employers big and small buy them with the dual goals of curtailing fraud and automating outdated record keeping systems that rely on paper time sheets.
The new systems, however, have raised complaints from some workers who see the efforts to track their movements as excessive or even 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. “The palm print thing really grabs people as a step too far.”