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Thread: Time Cards/Sheets- are employees required to sign? Virginia

  1. #1
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    Default Time Cards/Sheets- are employees required to sign? Virginia

    I am an employer and was recently told that, all employees must sign either a time card or time sheet at the end of the pay period to attest to hours worked, is this true?

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    There is no legal requirement that employees sign time cards.

    The legal requirement is for employers to track time worked.

    As a practical matter, it is very helpful, particularly if there is a disagreement about the number of hours worked, if the employee has signed something about their hours.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Newland View Post
    I am an employer and was recently told that, all employees must sign either a time card or time sheet at the end of the pay period to attest to hours worked, is this true?
    It's not required by law but it's a VERY good idea and I don't know of any employer that doesn't require employees to do this. Under wage and hour laws, you are required to keep an accurate record of all hours worked by non-exempt employees. (a) You want employees to affirm the hours on their timesheet are correct, (b) you don't want one of them coming back later and claiming they worked more hours and weren't paid for them, and (c) while this doesn't happen often, if an employee falsifies their hours on their timesheet you'll want proof via their signature on the timesheet and they attested the hours listed were accurate before they submitted it.

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    In the 1930s there was a famous (in payroll circles anyhow) court decision, Yankowski(?) v. Montgomery Wards. The court basically said that if the employee voluntarily signs their timesheet agreeing to the accuracy of the time work, it becomes legally difficult for the employee to later claim different hours worked. Ever since, it has been recommended (not required) that employers have employees review their time and sign to indicate that they have done so.

    While this is not a bad "rule", it is not the only rule. FLSA (federal law) is very clear that:
    - It is the employer, not the employee, responsible for keeping track of the employee's hours worked.
    - The employer is responsible for paying Non-Exempt employees based on actual hours worked. The time accounting information saying something else is not a legal defense for the employer.
    - Wages are legally due when they are legally due. The lack of the employee signing (or submitting) the time sheet, or the employee's supervisor not reviewing or signing the timesheet, or any other employer imposed work rule is not a valid excuse for failing to pay due wages in a timely manner.
    - Court decisions have also find that the employer ordering the employee to sign false time accounting data does not relieve the employer obligation of paying based on actual hours worked.

    While having the employee review and sign time accounting data is worthwhile, it is of legally limited value to the employer.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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