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Is it Time Card Fraud? And if so... Massachusetts

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  • Is it Time Card Fraud? And if so... Massachusetts

    Employee was terminated in MA without paycheck in hand. In MA that means the employer has to pay triple damages, once employee gets permission to sue from the AGO. However, the employer changed the time card to reflect that the employee worked one more day (the day the check was issued) to avoid a potential suit. Is this time card fraud, and if so what are consequences?
    Thank you.
    Julie

  • #2
    When you called the MA Attorney General's office and asked that question, what did they say?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      the law in MA is as it is ...and in my lay view IF the time card game holds up as improper it escalates the problem from a whoops to a clear intent to side step the law.

      Give us the response of MA AGs office ..less names ...and if not that, the basic comments of a MA labor lawyer who litigates such issues from employee side..note the attorney fee provision in law?

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      • #4
        I am not up on MA issues but if there were a different slant on the sequence it might be seen in a different light?

        For example if you were told on Tues that you were done and would be paid thru Wed but don't bother to come back and you were paid thru Wed...that might be different ?

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        • #5
          Before somebody reminds me , the law in MA changed about 2008 and the good faith defense for employer trying to get the check on time is out .....that said ..I also observe that some legal resources suggest that if management is running late that it stall out the final date of separation so as to get the check there timely and avoid the triple damage pit. ...perhaps that is what OPs firm did?

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          • #6
            It is not time card fraud in any state to pay an employee for time not worked, even if after the last day the employee reports to the office. It happens all the time for various reasons. For the most part, neither state nor federal care what is on the timecard so long as it shows at least accurate time actually worked. If the employer put in dummy hours to make the system pay for an additional day, no state or federal agency is going to care.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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            • #7
              Perhaps..but if law requires employer to keep,accurate records of time worked ..then to falsify a record either way up or down may get grey real fast. Now few would complain if employer added time for times not worked ...but that's not an absolute ....and if employer altered a termination record so as to avoid some other issue ..it might get real grey.

              What I've read is the smarter employer might drag out the termination process until the paycheck catches up ..and reduce the odds of being sandbagged on the state rule by employee who doesn't get check as he is escorted out the door.....

              I'm not sure is OP has the issues right or employer is looking to rewrite history or what ..but apparently MA law is not very forgiving is employer doesn't get a tough rule right.

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              • #8
                No state or federal agency cares how the employer keeps those records and those agencies only care that they are accurate so far as an employee getting paid for all hours worked. No state, nor the feds, go into employer offices and check the timecards in that way. It is not illegal in any state to do so. All the law requires is that time be accurately accounted for, by some method, for time actually worked. What an employer does for time no worked, they could not care less about.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                • #9
                  I fully agree that nobody cares about employer giving employee credit for hours not worked in context of wage and hour laws

                  Where I sense a loose end is IF employer is falsifying or altering a record so as to say they complied with some other legal requirement like time of payout . And it's not clear from OPs one sided version if even that took place ....

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