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The High Cost of Time and Attendance Misconduct


Posted on Wednesday, September 04, 2019


Time & Attendance Software: Cost of Employee Misconduct | Time Rack

Revisited: Unearned breaks, lack of proper HR enforcement policies and outdated processes cost more than you might expect.

Last year, we highlighted two cases from the nearly 1,500 investigated by the California State Auditor’s office between July 2017 and June 2018. These cases included a California DMV data operator who reportedly slept three hours a day at her desk for over three years, while two state university employees were said to have taken 5,100 hours in extra breaks over a 5-year period, costing the state an estimated $111,000.

More recently, a California state employee was suspended after allegedly watching hundreds of non-work-related YouTube videos featuring political, religious and crime scene content while on the job. In another case, two employees were accused of billing the state for disallowed travel expenses involving regular flights between San Diego and Sacramento – costing the state nearly $90,000.

The first of two that will be published this year, the May 2019 report documents a total of $427,000 in inappropriate expenditures the auditors found between July 2018 and December 2018.

While perhaps extreme, these examples serve as a reminder of the high cost of letting time and attendance issues go unchecked.

Consequences of Time and Attendance Misconduct

Time and attendance misconduct can have serious and expensive consequences in any business. Also, misconduct is rarely a one-time event in a system vulnerable to abuse.  A single hour a week in time lost to unearned breaks or on-the-job time abuse can cost companies thousands of dollars a year while creating a culture that opens the door to additional abuse.

When it goes unnoticed,  even small instances of time and attendance misconduct can add up to big problems for employers.  But it's not always as easy to spot as it should be. There are many reasons why misconduct might go unnoticed over a long period of time, including:

  • Outdated or inadequate time and attendance reporting processes
  • Lack of proper HR department or employee accountability
  • Department unwillingness to take disciplinary action
  • Lax or poorly communicated break policies
  • Buddy punches or missed punches that result in inaccurate reporting

Combating Time and Attendance Misconduct

Addressing employee time and attendance misconduct often requires the efforts of  multiple departments. It may start with the development of effective policies and improved communication – and enforcement – of company expectations.

But no matter what your policies, effective time and attendance strategies have to be backed up by reliable and accurate reporting.  The right time and attendance software is more than a time clock. It's a system that reinforces your policies and creates an accurate record protecting you and your employees.

Getting time and attendance right is about more than foiling misconduct. It's about establishing trust between you and your employees.  Time and attendance cheating has a negative effect on even the most conscientious of employees because it calls into question the accuracy and fairness of your processes.

Reliable Time and Attendance Tracking Made Easy

A reliable, state-of-the-art time and attendance system takes the burden off of you and your employees by making accurate reporting the standard in your company. At Time Rack, our system builds trust that works both ways, with built-in controls for break time,  accurate accrual of PTO and the accurate accounting of overtime and shift differentials to avoid racking up unnecessary bills.

With customizable tracking and reporting features, you've also got the security of an accurate record of all time and attendance information, with the added benefit of having at-a-glance access to data you may need for your own compliance reporting.

Time Rack clients can also get help in setting effective policies for time and attendance and for managing cases of misconduct through HR software that provides a searchable database of forms, laws, guides and checklists in addition to on-demand help from live HR professionals. 

At Time Rack, we are part of a family of companies dedicated to providing solutions across the entire landscape of compensation issues: FBG Holdings, SBS Payroll and Payroll Tax Management

Contact us to learn more about reliable time and attendance tracking and HR Support services

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