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 . 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.
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