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Employee Time Theft

Time Theft: It goes both ways. Proper record keeping is critical to staying in business. Wage and hour laws, HIPPA compliance. It's all about accurate and secure record keeping.

We've been in this business for over 15 years. We've seen and heard quite a few interesting stories. Businesses cheat the employees; the employees cheat the businesses. Accounting offices are overwhelmed with work, so the payroll gets rushed. Either way, in the end, the business owners lose. It has to be done correctly, honestly. We have a saying here: If you always tell the truth, you can't be caught in a lie. That being said, the material that follows is not all ours. We've heard it from other sources, we believe it, and are offering it to you for your consideration.

According to ongoing surveys by the American Payroll Association, the average business wastes 4% of its payroll in clerical errors and improperly recorded time. Four Percent. If your payroll is only $500,000 then you are losing a net of $20,000 annually. How can you look your family in the eye and tell them you are doing your best, when you are wasting about $100 per day because you do not have a payroll employee time clock or some time and attendance system. Don't believe us, go to the APA website and do your own research. $20K!

Even if it were just half that, you're looking at a net loss of $10,000 per year. $10,000 is a bathroom remodel, a trip to Hawaii for 6 people for a week, the down payment on a Harley, medical insurance for 2 years for a family. The point here is that while "little things add up," big things add up faster. Big things like time and attendance systems. Big things like the employee payroll. But keep it fair and honest. In the end, the fast ticket to profits is usually the quickest way to go out of business for one reason or another.

This was reported in the New York Times: As a former member of the Air Force military police, as a play-by-the-rules guy, Drew Pooters said he was stunned by what he found his manager doing in the Toys "R" store in Albuquerque. Inside a cramped office, he said, his manager was sitting at a computer and altering workers' time records, secretly deleting hours to cut their paychecks and fatten his store's bottom line. "I told him, 'That's not exactly legal,'" said Mr. Pooters who ran the store's electronics department. "Then he out-and-out threatened me not to talk about what I saw. Mr. Pooters quit, landing a job in 2002 managing a Family Dollar store, one of 5,100 in that discount chain. Top managers there ordered him not to let employee's total hours exceed a certain amount each week, and one day, he said, his district manager told him to use a trick to cut payroll; delete some employee hours electronically. "I told her, 'I'm not going to get involved in this,'" Mr. Pooters recalled, saying that when he refused, the district manager erased the hours herself.

Experts on compensation say that the illegal doctoring of hourly employees' time records is far more prevalent that most Americans believe. The practice, commonly called "shaving time", is easily done and hard to detect - a simple matter of computer keystrokes - and has spurred a growing number of lawsuits and settlements against a wide range of businesses.

Workers have sued Family Dollar and Pep Boys, accusing managers of deleting hours. A jury found that Taco Bell managers in Oregon had routinely erased worker's time. More than a dozen former Wal-Mart employees said in interviews and depositions that managers had altered time records to shortchange employees. The Department of Labor recently reached two back-pay settlements with Kinko's photocopy centers, totaling $56,600, after finding the managers in Ithaca, N.Y., and Hyannis, Mass., had erased time for 13 employees.

Officials at the aforementioned companies say they prohibit manipulations of time records, but many acknowledge that it sometimes happens. At some of the McDonalds, the employees get a print out of the hours they worked for the day. This has elevated McDonalds, as the employees have hard records of their hours and are able to compare them to their paycheck. This was first published by S. Greenhouse of the New York Times, April 4, 2004.

The point we are making here is that it does not pay to try to save money from those who work for you. You need to pay them fairly. The flip side of this is that they then owe you their loyalty. You as an employer are in a good position to reward them, or deny rewards. Hand written Time Slips are not going to cut it. They have fraud written on them every day. Handwritten Time Cards and Time Slips encourage a person to lie to you, which slowly but surely weakens the management, and eventually kills the company. It is a financial leak. It creates a bad attitude of them versus us. Employees often don't understand that the survival of the company depends on the payroll being fair to all parties involved.

If someone is caught buddy punching, you have grounds for dismissal. If you want to completely eliminate buddy punching, then it is smart to invest in a biometric solution. In any event, an employee time clock system, be it web-based, PC based, a self totaling time clock, or a simple traditional payroll time clock, is always a wise investment. And remember this: No One Is Indispensable.

You can count on keeping your job, staying in business, when you institute any one many such time recorders or employee time clock systems. We are in the employee time clock business. We are your first line of defense for payroll related solutions. The following is a partial list of the products we support, or in some cases, at least have some experience with: Amano, Acroprint, Lathem, Epm, Latham, PIX, MJR, Microder, C3000, CP3000, TCX, Ap125, AP150, Time Calculator, TimeSource, Time Source, Time America, Kronos, Stromberg, Time Precision, Genesis, Rapidprint, Widmer, Lathem, Isgus, Employee Time Clocks, Payroll Clocks, Workshift alerters, Workshift Buzzers, Horns, Bells, and work shift timers.

It's important to work with a reputable time clock dealer. They can direct you to a reputable PEO or Employee Leasing company. We suggest you call us today.

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