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Q&A: When an Employee Violates Your Timekeeping Procedures

Question:

An employee who was running late asked a coworker to clock him in, saying he’d be at work in a few minutes. The co-worker did so, but the employee didn’t show up for an hour. I assume we can change the clock-in time to the time when the employee arrived and began work. What disciplinary actions do you recommend for the two employees?

Answer: Sarah, PHR, SHRM-CP, one of our HR Pros says…

You certainly have the right to adjust the clock-in time, but make sure to note why the time was changed to the payroll file. Doing so will help protect you in the event of a wage and hour claim.

In general, when an employee clocks in for another employee who is not currently working, they are both involved in stealing from the employer. You can certainly discipline the employees for this action as you would for other instances of theft or violations of your timekeeping policy.

If you don’t have a timekeeping policy that addresses this issue, now would be a great time to implement one (we have one available in the Policies Library on the HR Support Center). That way employees understand the seriousness of following your timekeeping procedures and the consequences for violating them.

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Sarah, PHR, SHRM-CP

Sarah has extensive Human Resources experience in the legal, software, security and property preservation industries. She has a Business Communications degree from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a master’s certificate in Human Resources Management and a Strategic Organizational Leadership certification from Villa Nova University. Sarah is also a member of the National Society of Human Resources Management and has managed the HR function for small startup companies to mid-sized/large organizations.

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