Co-worker Not Being Honest on Time Sheet

Updated on March 17, 2014
H.M. asks from Phoenix, AZ
28 answers

I work for a very small company with 4 employees. I would like to get some opinion from you mommies regarding if i should report to my boss that i know two of my co-workers are not being honest with their time sheet. Our boss does not come in until 10am or sometime he doesn't even come in at all. We do not have a time clock in the office, so its not like we need to clock in/out. Our boss simply ask us to write in our time. I noticed one of the co-worker has been coming in to work 25 minutes late..twice a week and did not reported on his time sheet. Another co-worker took a sick day and simply put in his 8 hours work day, as it seems like he came to work on that particular day. There are a few other times that their time sheets were not accurate. Their work ethic is horrible. I know its not my business but this is just wrong. They are taking advantage and abusing the trust that our boss has for us.

My husband thinks I should stay quiet because if I reported this to our boss, they may loose their job. What should I do? I get along with both these co-workers but I just don't like what they are doing.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Seattle on

I am a boss and I would want to know immediately. I would not fault the person for telling me and I would not mind if they let me know without reporting actual names. Just explain that you have seen some time card fudging lately and the management might want to adjust how that system works. Not all managers and owners can be on the work premises at all times. That's why they hire other people they trust to do the work. People should be grateful that they are employed, not try to pull one over on the company. Trust me, that just means there is less to go around for hiring or compensating those who really deserve it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I agree with B, but I'm adding more perspective. I get to work 30 minutes before I'm due. I leave on time. I worked the first week of winter break on transcripts and I bring work home. None of that is ever counted. Maybe the same goes for these workers.

Stay OUT of it. Suppose you find out that they have a prearranged situation after you tattle. Suppose the boss rats you as a tattler?

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Tampa on

Bad, Bad idea. You will look like a tattletale. With only 4 employees, it will quickly be obvious who is complaining. Sadly, I would be a bit passive aggressive on this. I would make sure that I frequently answered emails from the boss or the other employees first thing in the morning when they are not there...showing that you are on time.

I would not "tell" on them, but I also would not cover either. If you get a call for either of the stragglers, then don't lie...just say that they have not made it in yet. That being said, I wonder if the other two interpret your boss's work ethic and are matching him in their activities? When the boss is not there, is he working remotely or doing sales calls or anything business related? Or is this "lax" approach really the company culture?

Bottom line...their work ethic is not something that you can control. You can only worry about yours. If the company culture doesn't work for you, then brush off your resume and put some feelers out...

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

One, they're stealing from the company. Stealing time like that is the exact same thing as stealing money from the company.

Two, it's not your responsibility to worry over whether or not they keep their jobs if they're found out no matter how it's found out by the boss.

Three, I doubt that this is the only way they're pulling one over on the boss.

It's a tough situation, definitely. The way you tell your boss would depend heavily on your relationship with him and whether or not you feel you can be completely honest or if you have to address the situation in a roundabout way. Perhaps the way to go about it is to somehow address the security (or lack of it) regarding those ID cards.

I have the kind of boss who wants to know if/when people are taking advantage of her and the agency. She's very kind and very generous, so it really upsets her when people take advantage of that kindness AND of her disability (she's deaf). She has to rely on everyone, and default to trusting everyone to know if and when other people are being kind to her face but possibly not to her ears, even right in front of her. It's not a tattling situation, but the way our agency works is that we can't run properly without complete honesty and transparency. She can't do her job if any of us are being dishonest. Plus we have multiple checks and balances for nearly every function so defrauding the agency is nearly impossible.

So in my current work situation we're encouraged to be truthful. She can tell when we're not. She can tell when we know something and are struggling with saying something. She's great at reading body language. We also have a great relationship.

If you have a good to great relationship, then I would say something. If he trusts you and respects you, say something. I wouldn't go in being accusatory.

If it's not a good relationship... then I'd let your coworkers hang themselves. They'll slip up big enough at some point that it can't be missed. I don't advise this.

Edit: My bosses in the past and my boss now would want to know. When I was a manager I NEEDED to know. Stealing from the company like this deserves being fired. If you stay quiet you deserve it too.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

If I found out your co-workers were doing this, I would fire them. If I found out you knew, I would fire you too. No question in my mind at all.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I also work in a small office and know how people fudging their time sheets an affect the company's bottom line. After all, it's just like stealing - getting paid for time you weren't actually working. What's the difference between that and taking home a purse full of office supplies? Nothing. I think I would mention it to the boss, but only once. If he/she chooses to ignore it, then so be it. But when the same boss starts complaining about his bottom line, you might remind him/her that if he would have gotten his house in order, his bottom line might look better.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I wouldn't say anything specific. Worry about yourself, not what others are doing. While they may be taking advantage, do you know that for sure? Perhaps they are doing work when they aren't in the office and that's why their time off isn't reflected on their timesheets. How are you seeing them anyway-do you do payroll? Timesheets should be between employee and supervisor-other employees shouldn't be looking at them without a reason. I like Doris' suggestion if you must say something.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I agree with Tracy. If you tell on them, it could backfire on you as well as the entire office atmosphere. You have to be absolutely sure that the boss doesn't know about this now, vs. he's put them on flex time and they are often working outside the regular hours. They could be emulating him and think you're ridiculous for adhering to a schedule. Are they goofing off when they ARE there? If so, be sure you are not covering and doing any work for them because they are behind or just not on the premises.

What happens when you are off, either for vacation or for a sick day or doctor's appointment? Is no one there to answer phones or deal with customers or just cover the office? That might be the only way I'd handle it directly with the boss, by requesting time off for a dentist appointment and asking if there's anything he'd like to do (or would like you to do) to ensure coverage since the others are on a flexible schedule. If there are times when you are doubled up because someone's not there, you could ask the boss for direction: "Which of these is highest priority, Steve? I want to be flexible and help out when another area is understaffed, but I don't want to neglect my own responsibilities." You could do this anytime, but certainly it's acceptable to do it in your performance review - how do I prioritize my tasks, what guidelines should I employ when 2 areas overlap, etc. Then you have to look absolutely stymied if the boss says he didn't know about it.

You could also comment to the "fake sick day" person, in front of the boss, that "I hope you're feeling better and that I don't catch whatever you had! Please take a second day if you need to so that you get well. I'll be H. to do X for you." Or bring them a get well card and some chicken soup!

It's not up to you, as your husband suggests, to ensure that they don't lose their jobs. But I would approach that of course the boss knows what's going on. Leave a "while you were out" note on the person's desk or send an email about something you handled (or someone who called/came in the office0 while they were out. That way you are notifying the person of what they might have missed, and you prove that you were a) on time and b) handling the office.

And yes, if you are becoming resentful, finding another job might be the only option.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Unless you're responsible for signing their time sheets, this isn't your problem to solve. You worry about you. Let your boss worry about his staff...his lack of supervision is his problem, not yours.

FWIW, an effective boss can verify hours using technology. He should be able to see what times people log on and off their computers for the day, when they send and received e-mails, etc. If he's too lax to figure that out, perhaps he should reconsider running a business.

Whatever the worry about you. What they put on their time sheets is none of your business. Unless of course you approve time sheets or process them or whatever. In that case, it is your responsibility to speak up.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I think that what you need to do is sit down with the boss and ask for the office to be more professional and formalized. Ask him for a clock-in system, OR, a swipe card system where coming and leaving is only allowed by the swipe of a card. When he asks why, and he will, tell him that you don't want to discuss particular employees, but that this needs to be done for work ethics purposes. Ask him to please just do it without talking about why to the other employees so that you aren't treated badly.

I wonder if your boss would blame you for NOT trying to deal with this when he finds out they are taking advantage of him. (And he really WILL find out...) If you want your boss to trust you, you need to bring the subject up without naming names.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Saying nothing makes you an accomplice to their theft. If (when) they are caught and you are questioned, you will either have to admit to covering for them or lie. Your husband is concerned about their jobs, but he forgets that you're risking yours too.

There is an ethical obligation here and despite what other comments say, this is absolutely your concern.

Added: Another option, instead of going to the boss, is to speak up to your coworkers. "Jim, you were out sick on Tuesday, why does your time card show 8 hours?" etc.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Is your boss the owner of the company or a manager? If he is coming in at 10 maybe he doesn't care either. Maybe they are working from home or something else you are not aware of. I hate dishonesty, but I think it might be best for you to let them dig their own graves---unless, of course, like others said, you are in charge of time sheets. Then it is your duty to look into it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

So none of your business. Keep out of it. The last thing you want is a hostile work environment. It's your bosses problem, not yours.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

When I have had similar situations, I have let them hang themselves. Sending emails to them at x time asking for reports or data, knowing they were not at their desks. Then when the boss asked me where I was on my project, I said that I could not find x person, but sent an email...with a timestamp. This was before everyone could access email on phones and work remotely. One guy would take 2 hour lunches and when the boss came looking for him, I just said I had not seen him in a while, I assumed he was out to lunch. A few of those and the boss cracked down on not only his overall productivity but his hours and he was put on notice. So you may have to do nothing at all. Just keep YOUR nose clean. I had a boss who questioned my leave request because two other coworkers were always in the hole. No ma'am. See here on my stub, I have the time for this. Etc.

But if you feel that their actions are reportable, then report it. Do not worry about THEIR jobs. Only worry about your own. Just bear in mind that if there's a crackdown, it might affect you, too, and you may lose flexibility in your work day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Do they work at any other times to make up for when they are not there?

Best way for you to handle this is sideways.
Arrange somehow for the boss to need to call them when they are not there.
He needs to get an inkling that the fraud is occurring but not from you unless you quietly complain about how your own duties/work performance are suffering because you are forced to cover for their absences.

Keep in mind though - some bosses don't care.
If HE doesn't care about being robbed by his employees his business will suffer and eventually will fold.
It might be good for you to find a new job before that happens.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

if you are their supervisor, yes. if not, then no. don't open a can of worms for yourself. the office being as small as you said it is, they will know it was you who snitched. do you want to deal with that?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Interesting company. I take it that the time sheets aren't part of your job.

Evidently, although you get along with these two co-workers, you're not close enough to either to be able to say, "Sally, what is this? Somebody else has been writing things on your time sheet."

My first thought was that the boss probably already knows this is going on! But if he doesn't come in at all - or very late - how much does he know about his company? (At the very least, he should know that employees don't do so much what the boss *expects* as what the boss *inspects*. That's been a business maxim from time immemorial.)

Co-workers are just that - co-workers. They're not friends, even when you're friendly. You don't have to worry about their losing their jobs. Actually, if it were me, I'd worry about losing mine when this company collapses because of negligence. I'd be looking around for another position for myself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

It can be so annoying and frustrating, but it is none of your business. If you are not the TIME POLICE, then you need to leave it alone, period. It's not up to you to decide what's right or wrong for other people. Just do your job, and document when their behavior affects your work. Don't cover for them, but--also--don't find "clever" ways to get them busted. Mind YOUR business.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If they are dishonest and will flat out "steal" from the company in front of you, then I wonder what else is going on?

Do they handle any money? If so, I would be weary that I might be accused or set up if money goes missing.

I would not go to the boss accusing anyone specifically but at some point, the boss is going to find out. If you are in charge of time cards then you have more clout to go to the boss and mention some inaccuracies in hopes of obtaining an new, more secure time keeping system.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

What a horrible situation! What they are doing is costing the company that employs you money. Have you thought of an anonymous note? Maybe not listing them by name, but suggesting he pay closer attention to what is happening? Ultimately this will affect your job. Also, should they be able to keep a job when this is their work ethic and morals? Tough call. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I understand your frustration, it is not fair to see others take advantage and not show good work ethic. I would mention it to your boss and then let him decide if he wants to deal with it, maybe by installing a time clock.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Ask yourself:

Why do I even want to work in an office where people do this? Are there pluses to this job that outweigh working with this kind of stress hanging over my head?

Why do I try to put "I get along with these co-workers" ahead of the fact that they are plainly stealing from the company when they do this?

Why is my husband more concerned about THEIR job security than about my working in an environment of slackers and cheats whose work ethic is, in my OWN words, "horrible"?

Why don't I get up and look for another job where the employees are honest so I don't have to sweat over this stuff and can just focus on doing my best work and not on all this, which is nothing but a distraction from my actual job?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think it depends on your boss, if you can trust him, you might tell him confidentially to pop in early a few times a week (or even call in and ask for the other employees).
My dh runs a small business, with the same number of employees and he would want to know if he is paying for time not worked. His company cannot afford it. It puts everyone elses job on the line if the compnay goes belly up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Listen to your husband. I worked in a big office and 1 of my coworkers always had fraud time sheets. We reported her and no after their 'investigation' her time sheets were correct because her security card was swiped at 7:28 and she signed in at 7:30. Yes it was but her security card was swiped by someone else who then left it on her desk. She arrived at 8:00 fish tailing in on someone else's card and signed in for 7:30.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

While I understand the urge to tell the boss, I agree with your husband.
It is on the boss to make sure that he knows when people called in sick / came in late, and that the time sheet reflects that. For all you know, the one coworker may have worked overtime to cover the sick time.

I might suggest that the boss come in early a few times, out of the blue...
I once had a coworker that did something similar while the boss was on vacation. When we had a meeting when she returned, I brought it up to her. She was not H., with me! First off, she said that I had no business looking at other people's timesheets, (which I guess was true), and 2nd, it was her job to know and deal with it, not mine. (but she had been on vacation ...) so I guess there were things that she knew, that I didn't know... our working relationship was a bit on edge after that.



answers from Atlanta on

Your husband is right.

Do you want to know what I would do? I would go to these people who are doing this and tell them that you know what they are doing. Tell them you are not comfortable with what they are doing. Give them a chance to correct their actions. If you go to management, they may absolutely lose their jobs. With their jobs comes their family's stability and livelihood.

Is it right what they are doing? Of course not. But if you "get along" with them like you so you do, be humane enough to tell them what you know. If they have half a brain, they will fix it before someone in management comes down on them and fires them for it.



answers from Phoenix on

If you are nervous about it, you could leave a note that you think their time sheets need checking or verification. It could even be anonymous. Thanks for looking out for the company. I would like to be reported to (and I am an Office Manager). Good Luck!


answers from Washington DC on

ew, ew, ew! what a crappy situation!
i hate thieves, and i hate liars. i would find this absolutely untenable.
but in such a tiny company, the dynamic could swing either way. i do hear the arguments that it's actually none of your business. if the boss is so lax that he doesn't show up regularly, maybe he doesn't care? and if that's the case, you'd only be a squealer.
so i guess it depends somewhat on the internal structure of the company. if your co-workers' dishonesty has the potential to spread to other areas of the business and affect it adversely, or if their theft is actually impacting the company's bottom line and putting all your jobs at risk, then yeah, you really do have an ethical obligation to bring it to the boss's attention.
if it's a sales-type situation where the co-workers can actually make up their time-deficits by dynamic, productive work, and are financially pulling their weight, i would sit on my resentment. but if approached by the boss and asked, no way would i cover for them.
sometimes silence is common sense. sometimes it's complicity. only you can decide for sure how it applies in your situation.
but i'd find this very, very uncomfortable. i'm sorry you have to sit in it every day.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions