My supervisor does not want questions asked about our timesheets, so he directs we fill them out exactly the same each week. Sometimes we vary the hours we work each day, but he wants it to say 8 hours Monday through Friday, no matter how much or how little we work.

I want to be honest on the timesheet, but when I mentioned that, he said "I'm sorry you feel that way, but we need it to be 8 hours a day or payroll will go crazy."

Many weeks I'm there more than 45 hours a week. I know I'm salaried and won't get paid extra, but I want the timesheet to be an accurate record of my effort.

This especially bothers me, because the timesheet has a box I have to sign attesting to it's accuracy. This is driving me nuts that my supervisor would be so controlling. Should I simply do as I'm told or is there anything wrong with what my supervisor is doing I could tell higher ups?

  • 6
    Though aren’t you part time doing only 32 hours a week? See workplace.stackexchange.com/q/142214/75821
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 5:23
  • Having started my working life on a timeclock, then after clocking out there was never any extra work...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 5:56
  • 3
    If your hours are billed to a contract, charges of fraud are a real possibility, with the company being liable. If you can cultivate a friend in payroll you might be able to get the real scoop without inadvertently blowing a whistle. Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 6:32
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    Possible duplicate of How To Deal With Mis-represented Timesheet. (Substantially the same problem; slightly different situation.)
    – Blrfl
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 10:47
  • I disagree that this is a duplicate. The situations are quite different (but yes, both involve misrepresented timesheet). Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 1:41

2 Answers 2


Take both options.

Fill out the timesheets that go to payroll the way that payroll wants them to be filled out. Then, create your own spreadsheet to track time accurately, and save that for your own records. Keep these in case you need to cover yourself for whatever reason.

If you ever find some need to show people how much you've actually worked, show them your version. Otherwise, just let them sit on your computer forever.

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    OP is providing a signed timesheet to payroll; "oh, but really, this is the spreadsheet I use and it's the one that's accurate" explicitly means "I regularly lie on my timesheets and sign them anyway." Not only will the spreadsheet not be regarded as a useful document, it could be a pretty nasty strike against the employee, particularly if their reported hours are used for billing (I don't think it's clear from the question whether or not that's the case).
    – kungphu
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 10:41
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    This sounds like bad advice. Did you lie on your submitted timesheet or did you lie on your personal record? Either way you're a liar. Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 16:13
  • @kungphu I've worked at places where things are the opposite - the "official" timesheet is not used for anything important and just needs to have "the number 40" on it, while unofficial time-tracking sheets are what people care about in terms of managing you and knowing what you do on the day-to-day. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 13:13
  • @GregSchmit It's not about lying, it's a matter of giving different people information in the format they want it. Some places just don't care about accurate timesheets, but they do care that you submit something every week. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 13:20
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    If all the company cared about was a piece of paper saying you worked 40 hours, why ask to you sign it at all? Sounds like a great way to get thrown under the bus when this fraud comes to light. Outside of being obviously unethical, while IANAL I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of thing is illegal to participate in. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 14:30

Explain to your supervisor that the timesheet has to be accurate as:

(a) you're signing to that effect, and it would be immoral and illegal to sign a false declaration

(b) the timesheet records when you are on the employer's business and in the event of any dispute or claim will be produced as evidence. For example, if you are injured whether you are on employer's time or your own time may be very relevant, or if the business is sued for something you've done the business will need you to be covered by its liability insurance.

Then you have two choices:

(a) you submit an accurate timesheet to your supervisor and refuse to discuss it further. That is your timesheet. End of discussion. (Keep a photocopy.) Payroll's problems are payroll's problems, not yours. (Although I suspect that if you aren't actually being paid any more, there may be a cost allocation issue and your supervisor is trying to keep his section's budgeted hours down.)

(b) you work only the hours stated on the timesheet that your supervisor will authorise. Not one minute earlier or later. Those are the hours your supervisor has instructed and authorised, so those are what you do. Not more and not less.

  • I think choice (b) here may be slightly less likely than choice (a) to result in OP being fired/demoted or facing a newly hostile work environment... (a) is probably going to be seen as insubordination by the manager, even though the order they're disobeying may not even be legal. Ethically and legally, these are probably the best options, but I don't see anything here ending well in practical terms.
    – kungphu
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 22:15