Is it ever OK for a boss to change a time sheet?

Q. Is it illegal for managers to change exempt or nonexempt employees’ time sheets if they neglect to indicate that they took a day off?

A. Adjusting an employee’s time sheet should be handled openly between supervisor and employee. It would be a violation to alter an employee’s time sheet to avoid paying money the employee is owed. However, if an employee forgot to indicate a day off, it sounds like a change would be appropriate to accurately reflect the employee’s time.

It is important, however, that the employee be aware of the change before ink is put to paper. The employee, rather than the manager, should be the one either to amend the time sheet or at least to sign off on the change. That protects the manager from possibly violating a company policy about altering company records, and also protects against potential claims from the employee that he or she, in fact, worked the time and was cheated out of pay.