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How to Handle a Missing Time Card

missing time cardGetting employees to turn in their timesheets isn’t always easy. So employers make ultimatums. “If you don’t turn in your timesheet, you won’t get paid.” This isn’t legal, however. The Department of Labor requires that employers pay their employees regardless of a missing time card.

Pay Employees For All Hours They Work

It can be hard to know how much to pay nonexempt, hourly employees when they don’t turn in their timesheets. But under the FLSA it is the employer’s responsibility to figure it out.

If employees are “suffered or permitted to work”, they must be paid, on time (refer to Payday Requirements by State). They need to be paid if they work unapproved overtime and for any time they work. They need to be paid even when they don’t follow their manager’s rules.

When you don’t know the hours

The problem is particularly difficult in situations where the employee works remotely or independently out in the field. Timesheets bridge that gap and if the employee doesn’t turn one in (or doesn’t track the time in real time online) then what can the employer do? If the employer has no way of contacting the employee and has no idea how much the employee worked, they will have to do their best at estimating the time. Try figuring out the employee’s total hours based on:

  • Client jobs completed
  • Past paychecks

When a missing time card delays client billing

This situation can get really frustrating when a missing time card delays client billing. A company needs to bill its clients in order to pay its employees and it can’t do that unless it receives a timesheet detailing the hours worked for clients. While employees may lose their job over it, they can’t lose their paycheck over it.

Have a Discipline Policy for Missing Time Cards

If you have stated rules about turning in timesheets and your employees aren’t following them, use a progressive discipline policy to deal with it in a consistent manner. Start by giving the employee a verbal reprimand, then give written warning, then suspension, and finally discharge. But remember that in all stages of the discipline, the employee needs to be paid on time.

Make It Easy to Submit Timesheets

If your company needs to receive employee timecards in order to accurately bill clients, then be sure to make the timesheet process simple. Tracking time online is so easy compared with paper timesheets or those manual, antiquated contraptions. Compliance becomes much less of an issue when employees don’t hate the task.

 

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3 Comments

  1. given shai
    given shai September 10, 2017

    What can you do if you forgot to sign the time sheet but you only signed the attendance register but the supervisor said he is going to book you off that day you worked

  2. Daphne R Brown
    Daphne R Brown June 27, 2018

    My employer is 80 yrs old she has been late with our timesheets 3 times if it happens again I need to know what to do and not have to wait 2 weeks to get paid for last week work

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