Coworker Changes Time Card

Question:

A coworker of mine is constantly watching me and the other employees come and go in the office. She never has pulled her weight in the office and makes up one excuse after another about why she can’t do her job. She is no one’s boss by any means and she asks people how their work is coming along and what time they left for lunch etc.. etc…

I came back form lunch today a few minutes after the normal time I would come back because my boss asked me to go to an other department to get something for her. My coworker saw me come back into the office late and she put down on my time card that I was late coming back from lunch. Even though my boss will correct the time card, is what my coworker did to my time card legal?

Signed,

Tired Of Taking It


Answer:

Dear Tired Of Taking It:

There is nothing illegal about what happens to a time card, unless there were very unusual circumstances. However, I’m certain there are company rules about what the coworker did. The person who is most at fault in this situation seems to be your supervisor, for letting it go on!

I suggest you write a memo to your supervisor that states what happened. In the memo say this is just one of many things that the coworker does to create problems at work. Then, be more forceful about it and say you would like to have this fully investigated to ensure that the time card issue is all she has done related to your records, and also to ensure it never happens again.

Think about it: If you know about this incident, you or others may not know about other incidents. And certainly, this kind of behavior should not continue the way it has.

I never hold out much hope that this kind of thing will improve because employees tend to complain but not want to put their name down as really wanting something done. Supervisors don’t want to get in the middle of workplace conflict and don’t know how to confront poor behavior or performance. And the same bad things keep happening over and over!

So, I hope you will do something about this to make it stop once and for all. One of the best ways to make an issue of it, is to say that it has a negative impact on your work–which it clearly does. It distracts you and others, and apparently your coworker is spending a lot of time observing the work of others, instead of her own work! It’s time someone does something about it, don’t you think? Only by stepping forward in an appropriate way, and documenting what is happening, is it likely your supervisor will feel she has to do something about it.

And while that is going on, make sure you are being a model employee yourself!

Best wishes as you plan to deal with this, on behalf of everyone in the office.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.