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Employee time theft and time card fraud - MUST READ

Posted by Barry Rubin on 2/22/2016 to Tips and Resources
The case of the 12,480 hour unapproved PTO.

An employee of local utilities took 12,480 hours, that’s six years of unapproved PTO before his bosses finally discovered he was nowhere to be found.

For six years, that’s 156 Biweekly pay periods, Joaquin Garcia collected a paycheck for his job as a construction supervisor of a wastewater treatment plant. Mr. Garcia’s salary for the 6 years totaled $252,000.

Wage theft is a growing problem, so much so that in the United States the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to keep comprehensive records regarding the hours worked for all employees. Many states require that employers also provide each worker with a time card or other verification each pay period detailing that worker's hours, wages and deductions. Typically it’s the employer who is the defendant when these violations are litigated, not so here and Mr. Garcia had a monetary judgment against entered for total of $30,000, which is approximately $230, 000 less than he was paid over the six years, and the most the utility could reclaim under the law.

So how, you are no doubt wondering what prompted Mr. Garcia to stop reporting for work, how after all that time, did his employer finally catch on, and what could have prevented this embarrassing and expensive problem in the first place.

Well according to court records when Mr. Garcia was reassigned to the water treatment plant he discovered there was not much for him to do, so he just went home.

Mr. Garcia’s extended absence was only discovered when he was unable to be reached by his human resources department who, was attempting to deliver a plaque honoring his 20 years service.

This is an extraordinary case, but should serve as a cautionary tale. This Employer had to endure a time-consuming and expensive lawsuit to recover almost none of the monies paid. And the claim would never have been needed at all if they had done a better job of establishing and following a time and attendance policy.

Employee time theft and time card fraud is causing management distress in almost every type of industry. Buddy punching, where an employee has a co worker punch in or out for them, over-extended breaks, and abusive excessive personal time cost companies millions of dollars annually.

The most effective way to prevent theft of time in the workplace is to monitor employees via a time and attendance software solution. Many solutions incorporate an employee ID Badge, while others allow employees to clock in without the use of badge or time card, but instead use biometrics like fingerprint or hand punch. Many systems even offer GPS Geo fencing from a smart phone device, allowing an employer to know where employees are during the entire workday. Which in this case was everywhere, but where he was supposed to be.

Employee time theft and time card fraud is causing management distress. Wage theft is a growing problem.
Call Time Clock Man today to find a solution.