Is it illegal for a manager altering a timecard to falsely show that an employee only worked 40 hours rather than the 40 so as to avoid paying overtime?

My wife works for a retail chain. Her newly hired GM
has apparently on a couple of occasions retroactively
adjusted my wife’s timecard to avoid paying her
overtime. Is this legal? What are the next steps in
correcting this?

Asked on June 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter if the whole store will be dinged by the regional director, or even by the CEO him/herself: this is illegal. The labor law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA) requires that accurate time cards be kept; that employees be paid for all hours worked; and that employees be paid overtime if/when they work more than 40 hours in a single workweek. Your wife has a potential claim for all unpaid hours and overtime she should have received, but did not. A good way to proceed is for her to contact your state's department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint; the DOL may be able to help her without her having to hire an attorney or go through the trouble and time of suing.

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