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CA-Claim unemployment for time fraud

by jennifer


Let me just say that in life there are mistakes or poor judgement that people make every once in awhile. This would be mine, and I have learned from it that it really was a poor choice on my part.

I was just terminated from my work for committing time fraud. I would clock in via cellphone around 40 mins earlier everyday for about 5 months. They said that my elevator access time did not match my clock in time and realized there was a pattern going on. I was never told that I couldn't clock in via cellphone, and my supervisor always approved my hours each pay period. But he always got there 1.5 hours after I arrived at work, so he wouldn't really know what time I actually got in.

Before I was terminated I was never given any prior warnings for reprimands. However, this is a "at will" work place and in the HR policy it states that "falsifications or other records kept in the normal course of business (regardless when discovered) will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from reprimand to termination".

I was wondering if this would be considered unintentional since it was over a long period of time and there was never any procedure that HR provided that states how to properly sign into the time tracking system.

Hi Jennifer,

First, I need to thank you for being completely honest with me. It makes answering your question of whether this might be considered unintentional easier.

I think you probably know what I'm going to tell you.

There is no way your choice to clock in 40 minutes before arriving at your desk for five months was not intentional.

And I don't think the problem for the employer is that you did it by cell phone, but that they can prove via the elevator logs the amount of time you were being paid for that you didn't work. It adds up to a boatload.

This is a classic and provable case of good cause for a DCTF (discharge for time fraud).

I'm glad you've learned your lesson, as all employers certainly have the reasonable right to expect to pay an employee for only the hours worked.


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