Are you Personally Liable for Altering Employee Time Sheets?

Are you responsible for approving time or signing off on employees time sheets? If so you may be personally liable if an employee’s time sheets have been altered in anyway. Did you know that not only your organization is at risk of big fines or law suit fees, but your personal assets can be at risk should a time sheet be altered under your supervision?

An employee can sue their boss, executives, and HR professional according to the Fair Labor Standards Act for altering their time cards. If an employee turns in their time sheet or signs off on their time clock punches for a specific amount of hours and changes are made to this time without documentation or notifying the employee, you can be held responsible and have to pay costly litigation charges.

For example: An employee turns in his/her hours for 9 hours each day. The manager reduces the time by 1 hour each day for the employee’s scheduled lunch. As a norm this employee leaves his/her desk for lunch but this week they had to answer phones during this time period. Next, the CEO signs off on it, then you pay these hours to the employee. At this point, the manager, the CEO and you have agreed to the 8 hours per day instead of 9, which is in violation of wage and hour.

To prevent this violation with penalties and court costs, set policies and procedures on any changes made to an employee’s time. If an employee is working, regardless of their schedule, it is considered worked time and cannot be docked from the employee’s time. If the manager notices a discrepancy, notify the employee and have the employee sign off on the change prior to sending to the Payroll or Human Resource department.

As they say, documentation is key to avoiding unnecessary costs!

Annette Griffin- Implementation Specialist

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