Tackling Piece Work and Overtime Pay

Tackling Piece Work and Overtime Pay


In today’s fast-paced work environment, labor costs are a crucial aspect of business management. In agricultural settings, as in all business settings, overtime pay increases the cost of labor, increasing the input needed to get produce to market. The complication of determining whether a worker should be paid overtime is complicated even more when that worker is paid by the piece. Implementing effective piece rate tracking systems and accurately monitoring overtime can significantly impact a company’s profitability.


Piece Work

Piece work is a compensation system where employees are paid based on the number of items they produce, tasks they complete or the weight of produce picked, rather than the hours they work. Piecework pay motivates employees, as it directly ties their earnings to their productivity.

However, tracking piece work can be challenging. It requires a robust system that accurately records the number of pieces an employee produces, or the weight of the produce picked. Without full transparency and records easily accessible to both the employer and the employee, there may be disputes.


Overtime Pay and Its Implications

Overtime pay is additional compensation given to employees who work beyond regular working hours. Federally, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay nonexempt employees at least one and a half times their regular rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Traditionally, under the FLSA, agricultural employers have not had to pay their workers overtime.

In the past few years, however, states like California, Washington, Oregon, and Minnesota have passed laws requiring overtime pay for agricultural workers. Employers in these states must pay all agricultural workers overtime once these workers pass the state overtime threshold. While most states have a weekly threshold, California also has a daily overtime threshold.

Accurate tracking of overtime hours is essential for several reasons to ensure employees are compensated fairly. It also helps businesses manage labor costs and comply with labor laws.


Implementing Effective Labor Tracking Systems

Here are some strategies for and benefits of implementing effective labor tracking systems:

  1. STRATEGY: Use Technology – Leveraging technology greatly simplifies labor tracking.
    • Time-tracking software automatically records the hours employees work, including overtime.
    • For piece work, specialized software can track the number of items produced or the weight picked and the hours over which it was produced, providing a piece rate hourly wage. 
    • This same technology can also warn the employer when employees are approaching the overtime threshold, allowing the employer to reduce overtime costs.

BENEFITS: More accurate records, less human-related data input errors, time saved doing manual entry.

  1. STRATEGY: Pay Transparency – When the employer commits to transparency, the employer has better employer-employee relations. When employees can see what they picked and can easily understand how their pay is calculated, they trust their employer more.
    • Time-tracking software provides employees with receipts after a weigh, at the end of the day, and at the end of the entire pay period.
    • Receipts provided at multiple points by automated systems show employers and employees know how much was picked and how much will be paid.
    • Easy-to-access records give employers a way to avoid employee disputes.
    • Pay transparency is paramount if employers are ever subject to compliance audits.

BENEFITS: Better employer-employee relations due to trust. Better employee retention. Fewer employee complaints.


Time and Money Savings: An effective labor tracking system, especially if automated, will save employers time, money, and headaches.

    • Some automated systems may not require an additional employee to ensure workers do not cheat the system.
    • Totaling end-of-day receipts or punch cards becomes a thing of the past when pieces and/or hours are tracked automatically.


Effective labor tracking is key to managing piece work and overtime pay. By leveraging technology and maintaining transparency, businesses can ensure fair compensation, boost employee motivation, and enhance productivity making it a win-win for both employers and employees.

2nd Sight can help agricultural employers with labor tracking solutions. Send us a message at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call today 509-381-2112.

No Farm is too Small for Labor Tracking

No Farm is too Small for Labor Tracking

Task Management

On a small farm, individuals must wear multiple hats and perform various tasks. Often a general labor worker may start the day with piece work like pruning, then finish the day with an hourly task. At the end of the work week, 2nd Sight’s labor tracking software makes it easy to pay employees whose work involves both piece and hourly work, and you can provide your employees with an accurate accounting of their pay.

2nd Sight’s has a labor tracking software that meets your needs. You can use it to organize and prioritize tasks, ensuring that work is distributed effectively and completed on time. If you have employees who work independently, they can clock in and out on their phones using MobileClock. And you can track where those employees are and what they are doing. If you have employees earning by the piece or container, you can use FairTrak or QuickPick. If you pay by weight, FairPick or FairPick Flex may be the solution for you.

Regardless of the budget, size, or needs, 2nd Sight has a system that will work for you.

Scaling Potential

As a small farm grows, labor tracking makes it easier to scale operations – the transition from small to large is smoother when you already have a system that manages and tracks labor effectively. Why, might you ask? An established labor tracking system results in more accurate record keeping, better compliance with the latest labor rules and regulations, and data-driven decisions.

Digitally collected data also gives you the ability to run various reports with the click of a button to track and see what area, crop, variety, and employees are the most efficient. By tracking these metrics, you can maximize labor and resources as your farm scales.

Finally, labor tracking saves resources and cuts down on administrative headaches no matter how large you grow. In the short term, you don’t need a slew of administrative folks to count punch cards and enter data. On a daily basis, you can easily see whether employees are meeting minimum productivity requirements, and you can avoid paying overtime. You can provide easy-to-read, accurate records to your employees so there are no questions about pay. And, if state employment administrators need to see your pay records, you can provide the information requested without having to search through piles of paper.

Technology Accessibility

2nd Sight’s labor tracking solutions are designed to be user-friendly and accessible. Cloud-based systems, mobile apps, and intuitive interfaces make it feasible for even the smallest-scale farmers with limited technical expertise to adopt and benefit from such software. We design our systems to be as user-friendly and simple as possible. Anyone with a regular PC computer or smartphone can track data and view data through the 2nd Sight Customer Portal. In addition, we provide customer support to help you set up your system to conform with your processes.


In conclusion, whether you are a small “mom and pop” farm, a new farm with aspirations to grow, or a full-fledge, large-scale farming corporation, incorporating labor tracking solutions will provide you with copious benefits. 2nd Sight has a system for all budgets, sizes, and processes.

For more information regarding 2nd Sight’s labor and inventory tracking systems, contact us at 509-381-2112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Why Digital Records Are the Way to Go

Why Digital Records Are the Way to Go

Increased Efficiency, Accuracy, and Data Accessibility

Digital records can streamline data entry and retrieval processes, making using them faster and more accurate compared to manual record-keeping, especially in a sector like agriculture where employee turnover rates are high. Digital entry reduces errors associated with handwritten or paper-based systems. Having the ability to search for all current and past employees with a couple of keyboard strokes is much more efficient than digging through the old filing cabinet or, worse, a garbage bag full of punch cards.

Authorized personnel can also access digital records simultaneously and remotely. On 2nd Sight’s portal, you can make several users for each portal account, with each user assigned different roles. This facilitates collaboration and decision-making across different departments or locations, leading to more informed and timely decisions.


Data Analysis and Compliance

Digital records make it easier to analyze large data sets. Agricultural companies can use data analytics tools to gain valuable insights into crop performance, resource utilization, and overall farm efficiency. This, in turn, enables data-driven decision-making and precision agriculture practices. 2nd Sight labor tracking systems such as FairPick and FairTrak allow the user to add trackable metrics such as block, variety, location, and many other customizable options that allow administrators to dig into their processes and analyze their data.

Additionally, many agricultural operations are subject to regulatory requirements and reporting obligations. Having digital records can simplify compliance by automating the documentation process and ensuring that all necessary information is readily available for audits or reporting purposes.

Traceability and Inventory Management

Having access to digital records enables better traceability of products throughout the supply chain. Being able to track items throughout the process while simultaneously recording this information on an online portal is not only convenient, but is crucial for meeting quality standards, ensuring food safety, and responding quickly to recalls or quality issues.

Digital records make it easier to manage and track inventory levels, helping agricultural companies optimize their stock of inputs (seeds, fertilizers, etc.), manage harvest output, and monitor nursery stocks.

Cost Reduction and Scalability

By automating record-keeping processes, agricultural companies can reduce the time and resources spent on manual data entry and paperwork. This can lead to cost savings over time. For example, products such as FairPick, our automated harvest scale, often pay themselves off in as little as one season! This quick ROI results in year after year cost reduction in labor and maintenance for paper records.

Digital records can be easily adapted to changing business needs and can scale with the growth of the agricultural operation. New data sources and technologies can be integrated seamlessly. Often price is the upmost concern. 2nd Sight recommends incorporating one or two systems first to see the plethora of benefits that we offer. Once consumers can see the benefits firsthand, they can scale up quickly and affordably.



Consequently, the adoption of digital records in agriculture can enhance operational efficiency, provide valuable insights, ensure compliance, save money, and contribute to sustainable and precision farming practices. For more information regarding 2nd Sight’s labor and inventory tracking systems feel free to contact a representative at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..