View Full Version : Milking the clock for overtime
07-31-2003, 06:06 AM
Our employees are intentionally scheduled for less than eight hours to avoid overtime costs. I have noticed people punching in early, punching out late, and clocking out for short lunches (I've seen as short as 8-9 minutes) in order to get additional hours and overtime pay. I posted rules at the timeclock but people still disobey. If none of this is authorized do we have to pay it? What if they are "on the clock" but they aren't working (such clocking in from lunch but going back in the cafeteria to finish their lunch)?
You definitely have to pay it. Any hours recorded have to be paid but this is where you start progressive discipline. They are violating company policy,start writing them up.
HR in CA
07-31-2003, 06:14 AM
Sorry to say, in California you do have to pay it. But then you can discpline them according to your policy. Where I work now and work in the past, this is considered falsification of timesheet and grounds for termination. Terminating the employees who clock back in from lunch and then go back to finish their lunch, should be terminated. It will send a strong message to those who just abuse it a little (abuse is abuse to me).
07-31-2003, 06:24 AM
One of our local warehouse type stores is very strict with their employees when it comes to OT. What they do is discipline those who work OT then fire them if they continue. They also will schedule that employee for reduced hours the next week - something in the range of 30 to 35 hours - instead of their normal 40.
07-31-2003, 06:31 AM
Have to pay for what's recorded?
Now, suppose an employee stops work five minutes before closing, and waits for the clock to reach 4 pm and then punches out. Then the same employee clocks back from lunch five minutes early, and lounges around slowly walking back to his station for five minutes. That would be ten minutes of recorded time not worked, yet paid for.
We could have written every person in this factory up, many many times over- for this kind of practice. Firing them would have brought this company to a halt- as the steel fabrication is very specialized. So as a compromise, we agreed to pay up to three minutes of that recorded time not worked. Seems like a Catch-22, but this is the best we could come up with.
07-31-2003, 08:27 AM
We have all variations of overtime and time clock abuse in our facility. Employees are warned if they do this, we will pay for the overtime because it is required by law, but they can and will be disciplined up to termination. They have to make a decision as to whether a little bit of unauthorized overtime is worth losing their jobs over.
I just terminated someone for stealing time. We paid for an employee to attend a class and also for her time to attend the class. She stated that she attended the class, but the instructor called us and wanted to know why she missed. She swore up and down she was there, but she didn't sign in and since there were only four people in the class, it was very easy to spot when someone wasn't in attendance. She then called our payroll office and wanted to know why she wasn't paid for her PTO time she had built up. (You steal from us and still expect your paid out time?)
You can bet whatever system you put in, there will be those who try to find a way around it. The company should send a clear message what the repercussions will be for the type of behavior and then enforce it. When employees see their co-workers being fired for milking the clock, this is the only way it will make an impression.
Theresa Gegen TX
08-01-2003, 05:19 AM
discipline is the best way to address this since you have to pay for all hours worked.
Believe me, once an employee or two gets fired for timecard violations, most other employees will quit violating the rules.
LAST EDITED ON 08-01-03 AT 11:52AM (CST)[p]STEALING $1. OR$1,000,000 IT IS STEALING AND TO GET EMPLOYEE ATTENTION THE MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS OF THE EMPLOYEE HAVE GOT TO BE WILLING, STRONG, AND ABLE TO CANCEL THE EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP.
Now again today I recommend you get out of the way of this issue. HR/PAYROLL/BENEFITS/EMPLOYEE RELATIONS/OSHA & SAFETY/TRAINER/INVESTIGATOR APPOINTED BY THE GENERAL MANAGER (MY BOSS)ON SPECIFIC AREAS OF CONCERN.
In the list above there is no place for time clock police!!!!and never let it become your concern. It is a management/Leader issue and not yours to worry about; pay for every minute on the time card and if the manager/supervisor gets the heat for to much O/T, they will address the issue.
I just finished an investigation and nailed two individuals for the theft of time and thus company money. Unfortunately, I was only able to nail the one employee who had the additional 4 hours of O/T which he reported on Monday morning as chargeable to another department. False information, but the time was on his card, someone else clocked him in and out. Unfortunately, for him the General Manager was on duty at the time he had been clocked and the manager to whom the employee chose to charge the time to was also on duty. Needless to write, they were both terminated for violation of company policy in time card processing procedures. One employee was a 10 year employee and a model one at that and now he is a "model one" for what not to mess with!!!
BOTTOM LINE UNLESS APPOINTED AS THE TIME CLOCK POLICEMAN DO NOT WORRY YOURSELF WITH THE DETAILS PAY EVERY MINUTE INACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW AND IT WILL SOLVE YOUR ISSUES.
08-01-2003, 05:52 AM
>Our employees are intentionally scheduled for less than eight hours to
>avoid overtime costs. I have noticed people punching in early,
>punching out late, and clocking out for short lunches (I've seen as
>short as 8-9 minutes) in order to get additional hours and overtime
>pay. I posted rules at the timeclock but people still disobey. If
>none of this is authorized do we have to pay it? What if they are "on
>the clock" but they aren't working (such clocking in from lunch but
>going back in the cafeteria to finish their lunch)?
Don't just post the rules, have every ee who is required to use the time clock sign off on the rules and then file in a training file. When an ee reaches the point of termination for time clock violations you will be covered for the UI claim.
In our plant we have conducted this training and ee's know that unless they are asked to come in early or stay late they are not going to be paid for their out-of-schedule time. Our time clock system automatically deducts 1/2 hour for lunch unless we enter something different. Our ee's know that if they are not scheduled to come in early or stay late they will not be paid for time punches outside of their normal work hours.
SAFETY: I would be concerned about an automatic deduction of thirty minutes for lunch. If management/superviors allow members to go on to work, "voluntary service on behalf of the company during their, no pay due lunch/meal break" your company could be in for a big surprise. Your records will show "no pay due" the disgruntled employees personal records and testimony which vailidates their records and your company record which will say "oh we employees were always allowed to go back to work even though I was suppose to be eating lunch, heck, check with the receptionist she is always eating lunch at her desk and answering the telephone". Check with mister xyz, he'll tell you "we always took care of the company and got the work out by working while resting, voluntarily you know". Guess who's record the jury is going to believe: the employee, and your record will automatically atest to the fact that they did not get paid.
You should have ever time card signed off by the supervisor/manager. Let them know it is their official record and certification that the time is correct or to what adjustments are required! It is also the manager/supervior that does the individual calculations, we only check their math! We then pay from the authorized calculation. Even the department heads in the office area calculate the time and sign off on the calculations.
HR/PAYROLL IS NOT THE POLICEMAN OF THE TIME CLOCK ONLY THE KEEPER OF THE OFFICIAL PAYROLL RECORD.
08-01-2003, 07:42 AM
Well, I should tell you the rest of the story. The shift leaders turn in a daily work schedule that has ee's exception work hours and any exception is initiled off by the ee in question. The only entries on this sheet are exceptions to the KRONOS time record and payroll makes needed adjustment within KRONOS. Our KRONOS system is set up to auto deduct 30 min for lunch and the exception report allows us to pay for all time worked as stated in our policy.
The abuse we see is ee's leaving the plant for lunch without punching the clock. Progressive discipline is issued in these cases.
One more thing, I AM NOT THE TIME CLOCK POLICE and agree that HR should not fill this role, there, I feel better now.
LAST EDITED ON 08-04-03 AT 07:39AM (CST)[p]SAFETY: DEALING WITH THE EXCEPTIONS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO; ALL OF YOU TIME CLOCK POLICE OUT THERE HEAR US WELL! WE DID IT AND YOU CAN TOO! I just wish we had the KRONOS system; I once studied the system and was going to install it in the Coca Cola Bottling Plant, but could not get the controller to agree to spend the money inorder to save time and money. My current location only houses 25% of the entire company, and very few are actually on a time card requirment.
May all of you out there have a Blessed and generous day! Eat more Pork, the other white meat!!!
08-04-2003, 01:57 AM
I hate to tell you, I don't know of a company who hasn't had your problem. I agree that this is management, not HR's problem. However, HR gets pulled in for a lot of different reasons.
First, one thing you mentioned rang another bell. You said that an employee clocked back in after about 8-9 minutes lunch. If the employee doesn't take at least 25 minutes "off the clock" break, you have to pay them for the "off time". So, watch out for this as well (and make sure HR pays the employee correctly.) I understand that it is "OK" for employees not to clock in/out at lunch and just "dock" employees for 30 minutes. However, I don't recommend it because if you get one complaint, you are going to have to prove that this "30 minutes" was taken. Hard to do with no time off the clock.
Also, one suggestion that worked for us once. We had employees who were not clocking in/out correctly. (One would get through early and just go stand by the time clock for about 15 minutes until it was time to leave.) Our General Manager went out and stood by the time clock at different times (one day lunch, one day in the am, and one day at the end of the day.) He was able to watch employees and what and how they were doing. I must admit, this cleaned things up for a while.
Everyone is right. Disciplinary action is all you can take (unless if it is called to the employee's attention and he admits his time is incorrect on his time card and he changes it and initials it. However, watch out that they don't claim retalliation.)
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