I have a hourly employee in Texas who has taken to milking the time clock: the employee will stay a few minutes late to complete a document that came in towards the end of their workday, or they were taking their lunch at their desk and if someone interrupted them, counting that as overtime (OT). We had a period of several months where the workload was increased, and there was legitimate overtime, and I think they got used to the extra money in their check.
Since then we have back filled, and there is no need for the OT anymore - in fact, no reason whatsoever for there to be unauthorized OT. They have stated every week during our touch point that they are not overwhelmed or too busy, yet I see OT getting clocked on every pay period, and their teammate has extra capacity to take on more, so there's no excuse/reason. Our company has a policy related to authorized OT, but laws around it still overrule.
This employee is taking a hard-line stance on their hours (recording every minute worked), while still enjoying all the flexi-benefits that are NOT part of their contract (such as telecommuting and working non-typical business hours). We all signed an employment contract when we were hired. Telecommuting is NOT a benefit of that contract, just the office environment.
I've taken the stance that they cannot work more than their 40 hours unless authorized, and that if they cannot complete their work in that 40 hours, then we will need to adjust their telecommute and business hours worked. I've also engaged our HR group to be on the safe side.
This employee has other issues as well (attitude related to the client and coworkers, not performance of tasks). I am attempting to coach the communication issues, but the client is not a fan of this employee, therefore, any excuse they have, they are starting to press my company. Not overtly yet, but I'm trying to head that off as I do not have the capacity to also do this person's job.
This is otherwise a good worker, but they feel they have been "shorted" and taken advantage of by the company (they are at the very top end of the pay scale for their position, but feel they are owed more due to work). While I don't entirely disagree with the fact that their compensation is low for the tasks, on the other hand, there's nothing I can do about it other than request a bigger raise (which I have tried, and got shot down).
In the meantime, reality is, the company does not want to be paying overtime. Our financial group and client are being strict about OT, and do not allow it with other employees. Most hourly employees in our group are fine with booking their 40 hours and enjoying the flexi-benefits that come with the roles we have. This employee is not okay with that (and legally they have the right to operate this way) so I've had to return their hard-line stance with my own.
Do you have suggestions, besides formal discipline, to help mediate situations such as these?