(or a harsher title: "Company pushing me to sign a fake report about my working hours")
There is a project which is partially funded by an outside source (government subsidy), and I'm a developer involved in this project.
Therefore the financial department has to create records every month about each of us, how many hours we spent on this project, because the company gets paid based on the manhours worked on the project.
So I got a printed table about last month, where a lot of days were filled that I worked so and so many hours on the project. The problem is, that (probably to save time and effort) they just filled in days randomly. I was never asked to fill out paperwork about each day, so they just took the total hours which were planned for me for this project, and distributed them seemingly randomly across the month.
They asked me to sign that document.
The problem is, that several days where they put hours in for me, I was on vacation. They probably didn't take the time to look up my records (we sign in and out every day, so they could have looked up which days I was working and which days I wasn't).
I notified them about this mistake and asked them to put those hours to the days when I was actually working, but they insist that I shouldn't waste their time redoing the report, and I should just sign it because "nobody will really check it." Management is also leaning towards just letting it happen, because they don't want to "waste time" with "such trivialities."
I'm not worried about ethical concerns because signing it wouldn't report non-existent hours. I was really doing work on that project, just not on those days. Despite this, could I get into legal trouble? Could I get a criminal record for fraud if an investigation checks it? For example, the subsidizer agency will get suspicious about whether we are overbilling so they will start an investigation to carefully check the records? Maybe they will even find some fraudulent billing (which I'm unaware of so I can't say whether it might have happened). After that, all they need to do is pull out my signin/signout records or vacation records to see that hours were billed where I wasn't even working.
Is this a real danger?
There was a related question but in that case there was an obvious and malicious fraud to paint the company in a better light. In this case we aren't defrauding anyone, at least not with my hours, because I did do the work, just not on the indicated days. Could I just sign it and if an investigation (which everyone says is unlikely, but I wouldn't count on it) occurs, I can say that when signing it I just checked if the total hours were more or less right, without carefully checking each and every day?
My intention is not about what legal actions should I take, but about how such situations can be solved in a friendly and not overreacting manner, and whether such things are likely to cause trouble or would be so insignificant as to not warrant any attention. Would any audit check each day which was filed on the project with the employees whether they were there or not? Of course the financial department says they won't, but I have the feeling that such a thing is the easiest thing to check so it will be amongst the first things to be checked.