December 17, 2013

Essex County readies biometric time clocks

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County is getting ready to throw the switch on a new facial-recognition time-clock system designed to curb abuse.

It should resolve complaints of tardy workers and even employees who are being logged in by someone else, county officials said.


Testing of the Lathem biometric time-clock system is taking place now, County Personnel Officer Monica Feeley said Monday at the County Board of Supervisors Personnel and Administration Committee meeting.

She said employee lateness should be a thing of the past once the system goes online.

“It should put an end to that,” Feeley said.

Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said a department-head meeting will be held before the new face-cam time clock goes live.

“We’ll get a protocol in place so they know what the system is like,” Douglas said. “If the department head or someone clocks in for you, the system will show it.”


County workers are on the honor system now and fill out timecards every pay period.

Feeley said the new system is set up so workers can arrive up to 8 minutes before their start time and clock in without a problem.

But any tardiness will round off in 15-minute increments, she said.

So being even one minute late docks a worker for 15 minutes of late time.


Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said employees will have to step up to a camera that will automatically recognize their faces and log them in.

“This new system identifies the employee when they come to work,” Scozzafava said.

The new system from Staples was budgeted at about $90,000, with 25 remote stations, and the price included $32,000 to upgrade the county’s financial Pentamation system to work with it.

The system creates a 3D model of the worker’s face, then identifies points within the model for future recognitions.

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