Educate Managers on Time Sheet Red Flags

One of the critical responsibilities of a company manager is the ability to manage the schedules worked by his or her employees and to prevent time clock abuse. It is not uncommon in the workforce today for employees to cover for their co-workers by punching them in or out fraudulently, or for employees to simply lie or exaggerate on their time sheets. This abuse can cost a company thousands of dollars and can embroil them in wage investigations from the U.S. Department of Labor. A skilled manager acts as the first line of defense against this kind of time sheet abuse.

According to Todd Wozniak, an attorney with Greenberg Traurig, “Most of the issues that come up about time sheets deal with employees reporting the same start and stop time each day as opposed to actual start and stop times. Those issues usually have to be addressed through training and disciplinary action. It is also important for managers to actually review time sheets, ensure employees appear to be filling them out correctly, and require employees to sign their time sheets to acknowledge accurate reporting.”

Over reporting and underreporting work hours is also a major area of time sheet abuse. A manager needs to stress the importance of accurately reporting the time, not just reporting less time which can result in erroneous hours actually worked by an employee. The last issue a company wants to get entangled in is a labor dispute with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) over erroneous time sheet reporting which could lead to claims for unpaid wages, including overtime violations, plus DOL fines and penalties.

All employees should receive fair and accurate compensation for their work efforts. As a result, employing a sophisticated time clock system can work well to prevent numerous time management mistakes which could really hurt a company. To prevent abuse of any type of electronic timekeeping system, a number of factors may be used to help make the system exploit-proof. For example, a time management device used to clock-in and clock-out could be secured with restricted individual ID badges, PIN numbers or even better, a biometric device reading of an employee’s finger or hand.

There are options for companies on a budget to pursue. A web-based time-keeping software system is one such option. All you need is a computer with internet access. With a reliable timekeeping system in place, the possibility of an employee misrepresenting their hours diminishes if managed electronically. A time clock management system is a necessity for a business to run effectively. It lowers the room for abuse and error and ultimately helps an employer to successfully control their largest operating expense – Employee Payroll.

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