2007_01_biometrics.gifIn a move that makes bag checks at subways look tame, the city has been rolling out biometric scanners for agencies to track its workers. The NY Times reports that scanners are "part of CityTime, an ambitious effort by the city’s Office of Payroll Administration to automate timekeeping," because there's nothing the Bloomberg administration likes better than technology. Unions support automated timekeeping, but they do not like their members needing to scan their hands every time they come and go. And then there's this:

Cecelia McCarthy, an official in the Organization of Staff Analysts, another union representing employees at the department, said one worker complained after a colleague with an injured hand was asked to remove a bandage and place the hand — with an open finger wound — on the machine.

Ew! Apparently Purell is now available at scanning stations, but unions point out that it ruins employee morale. While Law Department uses hand scanners to regulate access to its offices, the Department of Design and Construction, workers on daily timesheets are scanned while workers on weekly timesheets (like managers) do not have to scan.

This way, supervisors would have a sense of how many times an employee might leave the office for a smoke or a coffee or how long a lunch break one was taking. While it's nice of the city to want to make timekeeping easier, it seems like they are just making the workplace even more dreadful.

Part of NY Times graphic of the system and how it works