January 25, 2024 at 2:37 am

HR Asks Employees To Falsify Their Timecard, So They Made Sure The Company Paid Them Every Last Dime Owed

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/iStock

In general, people who work on salary do not have to fill out a weekly or bi-weekly time card. This is because they get paid for 40 hours a week regardless of hours actually worked.

Sometimes companies think they know a better way, but usually…usually that doesn’t work out.

OP’s job was going great, but when they got a little too big for their britches things started to change.

A few years ago I was employed by a relatively small but publicly traded company. I virtually guarantee you wouldn’t recognize the name if you weren’t in their specific little corner of industry.

Well, this place went public and decided to use some of the money to purchase an even smaller company, and suddenly we were in the DoD contracting business.

As you may or may not know, the US department of defense places restrictions on private sector contractors about how much profit they’re allowed to make, among other cost-control mechanisms.

One such mechanism is that anyone working on DoD contracts has to charge their time to specific project codes so that they can compare your actual costs to the costs you estimated when you were awarded the contract.

Well, our genius company decided that instead of only having the personnel working on these projects (which was no more than 50 people out of over 1000), that they would make every single salary person sign a time card every week.

For 95%+ of us, we charged 100% of our labor to the commercial side of the business, which was one project code. “Non Defense Overhead” or something like that.

Most people just charged 8 hours per day regardless of how many hours they actually worked, because no one tracks their time down to the minute.

So, OP went along with the request.

Shortly after this happened, new state legislation went into effect requiring that all employers provide 1 hour of sick leave per 40 hours worked. Nobody paid much attention to it.

But I did, because I was in a fairly specialized engineering role, with only 2 of us at the whole company, and I trained the other guy, who also happened to live overseas to support another site.

This is important later.

That said, he had one of his own.

I started charging my actual hours. I noticed that despite how many hours I charged, the amount of PTO I was accruing stayed the same. This happened 3 or 4 paychecks in a row, and then I approached HR.

They looked at me like I had two heads when I informed them they were not adjusting my PTO accruals based on hours worked.

“But you’re salary. You’re paid for 40 hours regardless of how many hours you work,” they told me.

I explained how that didn’t really apply to the situation due to the new legislation.

They again looked at me like I was completely crazy.

They said they’d get back to me with an answer in a week or two.

He worked more. They promised to look into it again.

Fast forward two months.

I’m still diligently filling out my time cards like a good little drone, and I’ve spoken with several of my work buddies who start doing the same.

The thing about this particular group of folks was that we all traveled, internationally, oftentimes last minute, on a regular basis for work. Well wouldn’t you know it, it turns out that travel time (per our state labor laws) is considered working time.

Sixteen hours worth of flights to Germany? All working time. (I believe the language is “place of rest to place of rest”). And while you’re there, you’re not exactly relaxing.

It’s long days, handling customer concerns, multiple days in a row. A perfect storm of circumstances happened that fall, where we were all travelling around the same time, and we all booked 120+ hour weeks of work.

We all eagerly awaited our paystubs to see all that extra PTO accrued and… nope.

We approached HR again. They told us they would escalate the issue to their attorney.

We went back to work.

Well, not surprisingly, things started going downhill for all of us, we started bitching about things a bit, and we all end up quietly looking for jobs.

Finally, OP decided he had enough and turned in his notice.

Within a 5 week period, all of us put in our notices… and I lost my patience.

I wrote an email to HR detailing our contacts with them and informed them that I would be escalating to the labor board without a full accounting of all back-owed PTO that would need to be paid.

But HR still hadn’t fixed the PTO issue – and OP expected to be paid.

I got a panicked phone call within about 5 minutes.

HR Drone: “Why are you even recording your hours that way? You’re salary!”

Me: “Because we have to fill out timecards.”

HR Drone: “Why don’t you just put 8 hours per day like everyone else?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it sounds like you’re asking me to falsify my timecard. When I sign it, the timecard specifically asks me whether I’ve reported my time accurately, under threat of prosecution.”

HR Drone: “…no, I’m just… why haven’t you brought up this issue previously?”

Me: “I have. Twice. With you. I detailed those encounters in the email I just sent. I’m sure the company’s attorney has informed you of your requirements by now.”

HR Drone: “They… haven’t gotten back to me.”

A threat about going to the labor board did the trick.

Me, grin now wide across my face: “Well, funny enough, I went ahead and emailed our general counsel. It turns out my email was the first they’ve heard the concern.

I’ve put in my notice. I expect to be paid in full for all back-owed PTO, or I’ll be filing a report with L&I, who take accusations of wage theft fairly seriously. I believe they give you a week to remit payment or pay up to triple what’s owed?”

HR Drone: “…”

Me: “Please contact me via email only when you have decided on a path forward.” click

But in case you’re wondering, they didn’t weasel out of it in the end.

It turns out that not only did I get paid the full PTO I thought I was owed, there was a bit extra on there as well. And one of my buddies went ahead and reported the company to the labor board anyway, which apparently caused quite the stir.

Last I heard, the HR department (with the exception of a couple of recruiters) got completely turned over, all the way up to the VP.

TL;DR Make a salary employee fill out a timecard? That’s gonna cost ya.

Reddit knows that sometimes you have to play hard ball.

The top comment says actions like this rarely work out for the best.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Don’t let your employer assume loyalty is for sale.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Too many people deal with sketchy employers.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Government contracts make everything complicated.

Source: Reddit/AITA

As always, just make sure you document everything.

Source: Reddit/AITA

I think this guy made the absolute best of everything.

I hope he found a new job where things were easier.

Want to read another story where somebody got satisfying revenge? Check out this post about a woman who tracked down a contractor who tried to vanish without a trace.