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Ratting on co-workers who falsify time sheets

by on
in Your Office Coach

Question: “Two people in our office are falsifying their time sheets. As a result, they get paid for lots of overtime when they actually don’t even work their regular hours. Our boss is in a different location, so she doesn’t know what happens here. When  we gently tried to inform her about this problem, she said we were being petty. The rest of us are honest employees who show up for work, do our jobs and make up any time we miss. Our co-workers’ dishonesty hurts morale and causes a lot of resentment. What should we do?”  -- Honest & Angry

Marie’s Answer: To put a stop to this deception, you must get the attention of someone in management. The following steps may help:

•    Try approaching your boss with specific facts instead of dropping subtle hints. Your “gentle” comments to her may have been too vague to convey the seriousness of the offense. 

•    For the next couple of weeks, record the exact number of hours these overtime bandits actually work. Then compare the true attendance figures with their time sheet report. Send a summary to your manager with an explanatory note signed by several colleagues. 

•    If your boss continues to ignore the fraud, the next logical step is to report the violations to human resources or upper management. But going over your manager’s head could make her angry, so you may have to choose between justice and self-protection. 

If there is any justice, these thieves will be standing in the unemployment line. But if not, you will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried to set things right. 

For more Office Coach suggestions on taking problems to management, see How to Complain to Your Boss.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

patriot November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm

You are ignorant. this is what is wrong with our work force. We all cry and whine that no one is hiring, but no wonder, people stealing money is morally wrong but it sounds like you have no morals.

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Des October 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm

It happens in the company I work for too. Managers don’t seem to care and they make up excuses for discrepancies in their time. Unbelievable. I do view it as theft and I don’t like that it happens. I feel that if you are the person who can approve a person’s time and if you know for a fact that they lied, I wouldn’t sign off on it. Let their manager do it.

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EZD October 21, 2009 at 6:40 pm

You all sound like a bunch of petty cry babies…how about this…keep your mouth closed and mind your own business or join the party and get paid too…

Sounds like jealousy more than anything…

These companies waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on parties, private trips for CEO’s etc….and you people want to cry and moan over a couple hundred dollars at the most….

Seriously grow up people…you aren’t in elementary school anymore…

More often than not YOU snitched get red flagged for snitching…which means NO ONE will trust you and when its time for lay offs you people will be the first to go….

No one likes a snitch…not even Human Resources

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Renee October 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Good luck and be very careful! We have an instance where the person that reports incorrectly has been reported to the controller and nothing was done. They are very close personal friends and she knows “she can get away with it”. The next time it was reported with full documentation, still nothing was done. This person spends a ton of her time on the web shopping for personal items, personal phone calls, etc but nothing is done. To make matters even worse, she IS the HR director! Long and sad story that destroys moral as other people have made comments. I took it to the top managment and I was the one that was made out to be the “Jealous” one. It really stinks so if they want their employees to steal time from them and you have notified the correct management, just let it go. It is very frustrating but there is nothing we can do in this situation.

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dpppppppppppp October 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm

then you HR department is not very effective. shame on them!

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dpppppppppppp October 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm

this advise puts the cowrkers in a position of having to play detective! why not just report the issue to HR and let them investigate!

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Gail October 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I experienced this issue in the past, however, the employee and I did not report to the same person. Being the senior assistant in the office, the offender would often ask me to sign her timestatements, which gave me reason to document her comings and goings. When she asked me the next time to sign off, I compared my notes w/her timestatement. Needless to say, they didn’t match (off by 2-3 hours in a two week period). In addition, she spent a lot of her time at work on personal things (shopping on line, calling around the state to find a specific car she wanted to buy, arranging a baby shower for a friend, etc.) Sitting next to her, I heard it all and documented everything. While that may seem petty to some, she was stealing from the company! After taking the documentation to my boss, we both sat down with her boss and had a discussion and showed him the proof. He talked with her, but was quite lenient. She moved to another area of the building and was back to her old tricks right away! I have since left that company and her behavior continues.

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Sharon Wolinski October 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I tried to tell HR about my boss who stole money and time from the company. I had documentation which I offered to share with HR but they did not want it, nor did they do anything about the stealing, cheating, unethical and sexual harrassing boss. He is still with the company.

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