Can My Supervisor Change Hours Recorded On A Timecard? 


When you report to work, especially if you are paid an hourly wage, you must clock in and out or fill out a timesheet to show how many hours that you worked as well as when you worked. If you go into work and find that your supervisor has changed the time on your timecard, it could be alarming. If you have worked a shift, they cannot shorten your hours or change your pay. There are extenuating circumstances when a timecard can be altered. 

You need to make sure that you keep track of your time worked and that you notice any changes or alterations made to your timecard. You should maintain copies of your timesheet or timecard for yourself at home. It is always good to have an extra copy so you can verify that you are paid for all the hours that you worked. Sometimes there are mistakes made and those should be corrected, but there are employers who try to intentionally cut their employees’ wages. 

According to the FSLA, the responsibility of recording an employee’s time worked falls back on the employer. There are limited instances in which an employer can change your timecard. Some of those scenarios include if the employee forgets to clock in and the employer must manually adjust the clock-in time. If an employee calls in sick or goes on break and doesn’t return from break because of sickness, the employer can indicate that on the timecard and make sure that the employee isn’t paid for the hours not worked or that the employee takes sick leave. 

If an employee makes a mistake and clocks in or out on the wrong person’s timecard, or if they see that someone else has accidentally used their timecard, then the employer will need to make manual adjustments to the timecard to make sure that the employee is paid for the hours that he or she has actually worked. In any of these scenarios, the employer should inform the employee that the changes have been made. This includes making sure that the employee is aware of a change to the card because a coworker accidentally clocked in or out on the wrong timecard. 

When Timecards Should Not Be Altered 

Your employer should not and cannot legally alter your timecard to reduce the number of hours that you worked. Your employer should not alter your timecard to avoid paying overtime to you when you worked overtime and entitled that pay. As an example, if you worked 45 hours last week, your employer cannot deduct 5 hours off your timecard to avoid paying you overtime. If your supervisor does that, then he or she is violating federal and state laws. 

You should always keep copies or documented records of what should be on your regular timecard. You should then keep a record of your timecard that is altered by your employer. You will need these supporting documents for your claim and to show that you were the victim of wage theft. These actions by your employer are illegal. Falsifying your timecard to cut your hours to reduce how much they must pay you is wrong – both ethically and by law. 

Since the ultimate responsibility for tracking an employee’s time falls back on the employer, then employers can much more easily alter time records. It is your responsibility as a worker, however, to check your timecard and then check your pay to make sure they match up. You don’t want to be shorted any pay. And, if you realize that you are not paid for all the hours that you work, you should report it to payroll in case a mistake was made. If it was an honest mistake, then they will work to fix the problem. 

When Timecards Can Be Altered 

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are legally required to keep records for non-exempt employees. This includes hours worked each day and total hours worked each working week. Employers are permitted to use any time-keeping method they prefer, including written time sheets, time clocks, or automated time-keeping systems. Employers may also allow supervisors to keep track of their employees' work hours, get employees to track their own time, or permit a combination of the two. Under the FLSA, employers have the ultimate responsibility to keep these records. This means employers can change employee time records but must make sure that the records accurately reflect the time the employee has actually worked. 

There are some situations when timecards may be changed by an employer such as when: 

  • an employee called in sick;
  • an employee took vacation time;
  • an employee could not clock in due to technical issues;
  • an employee created a double punch when clocking in or out;
  • an employee had to leave work quickly for personal reasons;
  • an employee recorded the wrong time on their timesheet. 

If you have a valid case of an employer altering your timecard you may file a claim under the FLSA. After it has been filed, the complaint will be investigated and negotiations for a fair compensation amount will be discussed. If it’s necessary, your case may need to go to court, and your attorney will then represent you on your behalf for a resolution. 

How An Employment Lawyer Can Help 

If you believe that your timecard has been unlawfully altered and you are the victim of wage theft, you should speak with an employment law attorney who can advise you regarding your specific case and help get your unpaid wages back. These claims can vary greatly from one to another. You will need to gather up all the supporting evidence and documentation that you can to make sure your claim is on the right track and that your attorney will understand what happened and that your employer shorted your pay. 

Employment law matters can be complicated, so be sure to get the help of someone who is familiar with the state and federal laws. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today. 

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