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I am having a problem with two coworkers. I work in an office which is the main Call Center where all the customer service calls are routed to. We work in cubicles and the girl in the cubicle next to mine was talking with one of the other coworkers and they were discussing clocking each other In & Out on their time cards.

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So whoever gets to work first in the morning clocks in the other one. They go to lunch together so they don’t ever worry about getting back late. If one wants to leave early that day, the other one will clock her out for the day. Sometimes she leaves two hours early.

Another co-worker told me she saw one of the girls clocking the other one in the other morning. She saw the other girl clock them both out at the end of the day, yesterday. The girl left 2 hours early. My coworker is afraid to tell our boss. I only over heard their conversation, but she witnessed them clocking In & Out for each other. I think we both need to go talk to our boss together.

My coworker is afraid of retaliation from the two girls. Supposedly one of the girl’s has had assault charges that were filed against her but dropped because the person was too afraid and refused to testify against her. She is afraid that if the girls get terminated then there will be retaliation against her family. If she is that scared, I am too, now that I am realizing the risk for telling the truth could be someone threatening me and my family. My question is what should I do about this? I want to do the right thing but I truly fear for my safety, my friend’s safety and our families, too.

Hi Dominique,

I want to summarize your comments to ensure I understand the situation clearly.

  • Where you work, you over heard two coworkers in the cubicle next to yours and they were talking about “clocking each other In & Out”.
  • A coworker came to you and said she saw one girl clocking them both in (two different time cards) one morning and the other one clocked the other out one afternoon two hours early.
  • You both are afraid to tell your boss because you are afraid of retaliation.
  • You think one of the girls had assault charges filed against her, but the charges were dropped because the person was too afraid and refused to testify. And you and your coworker are fearful of retaliation against you and your families.

Human Resources Global Ltd.Your question is:

What should I do about this? I want to the right thing but, I truly fear for my safety, my friend’s safety and our families, too.

I am a firm believer in telling the truth when someone is doing something wrong that has an effect on others and causes a hardship for coworkers. First off, “clocking another employee’s time card In & Out” is usually a policy violation in most organizations. This constitutes a falsification of time records, for which there is usually a written policy.

This is virtually stealing money from the organization, This may even be considered fraud. Clearly, it is unfair to other employees who follow the rules and are working the hours for which they are paid.

These are both serious offenses and in my opinion would be grounds for termination.

I understand you are afraid of retaliation if they get terminated, but what you heard about the girl with the alleged assault charges may or may not be true. Were you there when this happened? Was it publicized in the papers or on television from media coverage? These are big questions.

Here is what I would advise:

  • Contact your Supervisor and Human Resources Director and arrange to meet with them. You and your coworker can request to meet in a different area and/or off site, if you are worried about being seen together with your Supervisor and Human Resources.
  • Before you being your story or when asking for the meeting, request that the information you have to provide be kept confidential so you aren’t identified as the ones who are reporting the problem. Tell them that harmful retaliation is of great concern to you both.
  • Make sure you document the incidents (all the times you have witnessed the two of them “clocking in and out” on each other’s cards and what you over heard in the cubicle) and make four copies and take them with you – one for each of you.
  • Make sure you tell what happened and express your concerns about coming forward and your fear of being retaliated against by the two girls. Tell them about the information on the one girl and her alleged assault charges.
  • The last thing your Supervisor and the Director of Human Resources would want to do is put you in harm’s way. They appreciate you coming forward and I am sure will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable and safe.

Another thought on the subject:

Where is the Supervisor when one of the girls leaves early? I think that Supervisor should make spot checks on attendance and review applicable time cards…and, not just those of the 2 girls in question. That way, it wouldn’t appear to be pointing fingers at only those 2 as rule breakers.

These are just my suggestions. You need to do what you feel is most comfortable to you. I would not just sit back and do nothing, but that is me. You may not be the first employees who have observed or reported this. You won’t know until you speak up.

My response to your question is based on my professional experience and knowledge. This in no way means this is the only way to handle the issue, it is just the way I would handle it.{Disclaimer}

If you have any question please send them to info@newtohr.com. I will do my best to answer your question in one of my upcoming blog posts.

(c) New To HR.

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Rhonda
Rhonda Knisley has been a Human Resources professional almost thirty years. The majority of her profession has been spent in the health care arena as a Director of Human Resources & Labor Relations. Rhonda also has her own HR blog on: http://hr.toolbox.com/people/thehumanresource/posts
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