Some time clocks require that employees punch the time clock with a time card, some involve swiping with a swipe card and some more sophisticated technologies use fingerprints or handprint technology.

The data from these time clock cards is used in attendance records and for payroll purposes to log hours worked and overtime. As such, they are part of official company records. To work effectively, they depend upon the fact that an employee punches in his or her own time honestly and also does not punch in or out for any other employee. Increasingly the more sophisticated technologies, such as fingerprints, are preventing this from happening but the more basic clock cards, still widely used, can be a source of abuse.

To avoid such abuse, many employers make time clock falsification grounds for summary dismissal as part of their Disciplinary Policy. It is important to ensure as an employer that your employees are aware of this and, should abuse occur, that you have sufficient evidence to prove that an employee has either falsified their own clock card or behaved fraudulently in using another person’s clock card.

As an employer, of course, you also have an obligation not to falsify such company records.