Supervisor Responsibility with Employees' Timecards


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


A fellow employee is routinely late to work and takes extremely long lunch breaks (up to 3 hours). What is a supervisor’s responsibility in terms of verifying that an employee actually works an 8-hour day?


You don’t know the full story. A supervisor who knowingly certifies a false time card can be disciplined. But something also may be going on here.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.


About Author


  1. Time Card Fraud

    This is a very significant problem specially when the Time card certifier has a very close relationship with a subordinate and she conducts preferential treatment.

    As there are two different standards on how Federal Employees are treated by their supervisors and held accountable on their Time and Attendance and Leave both annual and sick being approved or disapproved. In addition being recorded any absences on the time card as the Supervisor and Certifier does not charge their subordinate with any absences during the pay period as the time card gets certified as present for duty.

    The problem is when it gets corrupted by the supervisor having a close relationship with other worker and subordinate her subordinate does not have to fill in an OPM 71 or that calls in I am sick but the next day is very noticeable that she went over to the hair salon. And other times sends an email that I will not be in today because I am sick and upon return to the agency fails to fill the form OPM71 and the supervisor shirks her responsibility to obtain an OPM 71 due to their close relationship and does not require for the subordinate friend to fill one or request any medical certificate from a medical facility as well as any OPM 71 for unscheduled annual leave and at the end of the pay period she gets credit as being for duty because no OPM 71 request for leave was fill in therefore there is no record of any absence when the subordinate was not for duty..

    The problem is that other Federal Employees are held to a different standard and that is not fair. The rules requiring an OPM 71 for any period of absence apply across the board!!!

    In addition the Supervisor is also the Time Card Certifier with no check and balance as she allows herself to record or no record any absences by her close relationship subordinate and certify the time card with no absences recorded.

    The OPM 71 program is designed to be applied across the board and applicable to all Federal Employees performing duty at the agency. In addition time card abuse will continue to exist as long as no one is willing to implement the rules as the rules apply to all.

    When no absences are recorded then at the end of the leave calendar year this corrupt individuals then claim endless hours of use of loose all because they were never charged for their absence and because they were never required to be in compliance with the OPM Rules because of their close relationship with the supervisor and Time and Attendance Certifier.

    In addition when time card abuse is reported to DoD IG or their Superiors under the No Fear Act then supervisors use their position to conduct reprisal and revenge and they retaliate by denying sick leave to the subordinate that reported them.

    It is a shameful behavior of this supervisors to retaliate against the employee and their family members openly as no one will step and look upon the issue that is the supervisor poor behavior that should be in question especially when they conduct preferential treatment to their subordinate friends and they use their position to give them a free day off from work. In addition they conduct Time Card Fraud at the workplace and because of the lack of courage to investigate this perpetuates at the agency.

    It is no different that the Pen State Culture where complaints have moved and recorded with the DoD IG, the Agency IG of an Employee conducting Tie Card Abuse and the lack of checks and balances to ensure this not happen only because employee has been there for years and has built her internal support infrastructure and the complaints of Time Card Abused has been recorded in official complaints and no one will step in because they are afraid to do what is right.

    Not a perfect world but we do have a system in place to be applied across the board to all Federal Employees to include Supervisors who think that the rules do not apply to them…


Leave A Reply