February 15, 2014

Essex County to start using time clocks in March

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County’s controversial biometric time-clock system is expected to go live in March.

The county has been testing the time system, which will require employees to stand in front of a video terminal that will compare their image with one on file and record the time they log in.

The $90,000 setup will save time and money and reduce fraud, county officials say.


County Personnel Officer Monica Feeley told the County Board of Supervisors Personnel and Administration Committee that the test program with one unit worked well, and she’s ordering 25 time-clock stations and two backups.

Feeley said they will start installing them in various county departments, and activation is expected “sometime in March.”

“I assume there will be savings in time and personnel over time,” Supervisor Daniel Connell (D-Westport) said. “Part of the reason you’re doing this is it makes the payroll system easier.”


The time clocks will upload directly to the county’s Pentamation payroll software, said County Manager Daniel Palmer, eliminating paper forms that must be processed manually.

“There’s an awful lot of work now in payroll,” he said. “The time clocks will be tied directly to the Pentamation system. If someone doesn’t stand in front of the time clock, the system will pick it up; it will say that person didn’t come in today.”

Workers currently fill out time sheets online, which are printed out and turned in.

Someone must then process the paper printouts for all 500-plus county employees, a procedure that will go away when the new time clocks are turned on.


Palmer said they’ve decided on seven minutes as the leeway employees can have to be early or late for work.

If someone arrives after the seven minutes, the system clocks them in as late, and their pay is adjusted accordingly.

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