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My boss fills out the timesheets for everyone in his department. This is rarely a problem for me, because I rarely take time off. However, the last two times I have taken time off, my use of leave has been mis-represented. Most recently I took the afternoon off (left at 12:00pm, usually I leave at 4:15pm) without taking a lunch, so I should have been charged 3.25 hours, but was charge 5.50 hours of leave. Which would be equivilent to me leaving at 10:45am and taking a lunch before leaving. The time prior to that I went to an all day (work related) seminar on a Saturday, and took off the Friday prior to make up for the time I would be putitng in the following day. To find 4.00 hours of leave charged.

How should I approach the situation. I only get 10 days (80 hours) of paid time off a year. So being overcharged 6.25 hours in a 2 month period is fairly significant compared to how much time off I receive yearly.

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Your boss is not your babysitter. He has no idea when you come in and when you leave. The way to deal with your situation is to fill out your time sheet yourself, starting today. –  scaaahu Feb 18 '13 at 13:05
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.... do you not talk with your boss on a somewhat frequent basis? This seems like an obvious answer - talk to your boss and ask him about it. It also seems weird you would take time off without talking to your boss ahead of time about it regardless (???). –  enderland Feb 18 '13 at 13:10
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+1 for filling out your own timesheets. You may want to check company rules/policies on this - I've never seen a place where someone other than the employee was permitted to fill out a timesheet for that employee. It's a situation ripe for abuse & misrepresentation of working hours. –  alroc Feb 18 '13 at 13:21
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@Jeremy1026 I am not sure if you understand the seriousness of your problem. You profile says you live in Baltimore. I used to live in DC area. A lot of government contractor there. Even if your employer has no government business, you would still need to know this: you could go to jail if you mispresent your timesheet for government contracts. –  scaaahu Feb 18 '13 at 13:25
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@DA., it's 10 days PTO (80 hours). Which in the US is fairly common unfortunately. –  alroc Feb 18 '13 at 19:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

This is rarely a problem for me...

This should be a constant problem for you, because it's fraud. Your boss is filling out a timesheet that isn't his and misrepresenting the hours, possibly for some purpose. If you sign your timesheets, you're affirming the accuracy of something you know is wrong. Depending on where you live, what business you're in and your company's policies, that could lead to anything ranging from discipline to termination to legal trouble.

Put a stop to it as soon as you can:

  • If you're required to sign your timesheets or otherwise certify their accuracy, audit each one and refuse to sign any that are inaccurate. Make sure you keep detailed records of when you work and when you take time off.

  • Identify someone high enough in the food chain to put a stop to the practice. This could be someone in payroll, HR or the CFO depending on the size of your company. Explain that you are not being provided the opportunity to fill out a timesheet, that one or more recent timesheets have not been accurate reflections of your actual hours worked and that you are owed the time off you were denied. While the fraud is in the company's favor (i.e., they're getting more work than they're paying for), point out that what your boss is doing has second-order costs that come from giving their employees the shaft. Whatever arrangement you make, be sure that you will have management's backing should your boss decide to retaliate.

  • Compare notes with your colleagues. If they're being charged for leave they didn't take, work as a group to fight the problem. Management is more likely to sit up and take notice of four employees with a problem than they are just one.

I know there's a discussion on Meta about whether or not "quit your job" is an acceptable answer, but if the company is unwilling to correct the problem, you should consider it. You and your company have an arrangement (if not a legally-binding contract) that includes a certain amount of paid time off. If you're being denied some of that compensation, the company is not upholding its end of the bargain.

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Isn't "intentionally misrepresenting the hours" a little speculative? While I do agree that it was CLEAR misrepresentation, I did not see any part of the question indicating that he was INTENTIONALLY being fraudulent. –  Permas Feb 19 '13 at 1:13
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@Permas: Point taken; answer adjusted. Either way, this thing smells fishy. –  Blrfl Feb 19 '13 at 3:09
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How should the OP do this in a way that does not raise the hackles of his manager towards him? Your suggestion is going to create animosity with the manager. Your answer should really help mitigate that as well. –  ReallyTiredOfThisGame Feb 19 '13 at 14:22
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I can think of no reason for the boss to not allow employees to fill in the timesheets unless he intends to misrepresent them. This man is higly likely to be committing fraud and charging the customers for work not done or moving charges to customers with hours left in their projects. –  HLGEM Feb 19 '13 at 15:01
    
@Chad: That would be a topic for a whole other question. –  Blrfl Feb 19 '13 at 16:42

There's two different cases here. In the first case your boss has clearly misrepresented the time you took off. The way to deal with this is to email him and say "I have disccovered there is an error in my timesheet. It was recorded that I took 5.5 hours leave when in fact I only took 3.25 hours leave. Please correct this." Do it by email so there is a record. If he says 5.5 is correct email him the exact times of your leaving. If this hasn't been fixed in a couple of weeks, email him again saying the same thing and CC his boss and HR.

It is important not to jump straight to an accusation of malevolence. Even if you already know from verbal conversations that your boss doesn't care what you think and wants to fill in the timesheets his way, starting to use email creates a record, and you want the record to reflect you being the reasonable person.

The second case unfortunately depends on your company's policy on compensating for out-of-hours working. While allowing you a whole day off would be normal and fair, many companies don't. Find out what policy is. And remember that you can always decline to attend Saturday seminars unless they give you a fair deal.

And finally, filling in your own timesheet is indeed a good idea.

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