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My wife was fired for an alleged time card falsification can she recieved unemployment benefits? - Florida

by Justin
(Keystone Heights, FL)

My wife was terminated 1/23/09 for Deliberate Time Card Falsification reported as timekeeping system reports a 0706 clock in and she didn't report to her workstation until 0820. Major Violation suggested corrective action immediate termination from her supervisor. My wife works 4-10's for a major medical facility in the area which own's or operates pretty much everything in the area. She has worked for this company for approx 7 years and has an good record only having one warning for quote tardiness in her career. This warning was bogus also because she was not notified of the department policy of a 5 minute window either way of the assigned work report time. The policy of the company is a 7 minute window either way. Apparently department policy superceeds company policy???. She was within the 7 minute window when warned 11/10/08 but since it was not really significant we didn't bother refuteing it. This week in question was a holiday week and therefore she works 4 8hr days and recieves holiday pay for the other 8. She wasn't paying any attention to this and worked her regular time two days subsequently recieving overtime for the hours worked, as this will cause her to be written up she off set her time coming in to work late to get rid of the overtime on Friday the day in question. This day she arrived at 0820 and clocked in. Then went directly to her desk after briefly talking to her supervisor saying basically good morning. That day she was called in to discuss the time card problem where there was no record of an 0820 punch and there was however a record of 0706 punch. They talked it over and left the office with supervisor was going to fix it and it would just be a missed punch for the day. The next Friday she was terminated for the infraction.

We have grieved it through the company process and are still in the end stages of the process waiting for the final say from the top dog. We have a written statement from our babysitter she didn't drop off our child until 0735 which starts the timeline for the day. Work is approx 30-40 minutes from our house depending on the traffic then parking and walking to the building
to report for work puts her there at the right time 0820.

We filed for unemployment, claimed all the weeks, and waited. We recieved a phone call from the dept. then a letter stating. The claimant was discharged for falsification of work related documents. The claimant's actions were not in the employer's best interests. Now we are appealing the determination. We have filed in all the correct time frames and continue to claim weeks. We are wondering where we can go with this. Can I/we subponea documents we feel related to the case i.e emails of missed punches and time clock malfunctions. We're locked out of the system and cannot retrieve them. How do we go about doing this if we can. Also, wondering how they make the determination because the letter recieved after the 1st stage of the grievence was meager at best not supporting any of the initial reason's for discharge. We appreciate you time.

Hi Justin,

Yes you can subpoena documents. You'll have to check Florida's information on appeals for the specific information.

Obviously what's missing here is the employer's reasoning for their decision, but the info you gave compels me to ask if your wife, after working two additional hours on two days, spoke to her supervisor about counteracting this by coming in late. This seems like something that a supervisor should be made aware of and could be the basis for the employer's decision.

Aside from that:

Does the timekeeping system have known issues?

Did your wife forget to clock out on Thursday?

What are possible scenarios for the 0706 punch, when you can prove she was not there?

The focus should be to build a case laying fault with the employer and/or their equipment.

The tardy warning was for a different rule violation and would not carry much weight in proving time falsification.

What is the employer's progressive discipline policy? I'll bet the timekeeping policy allows for immediate termination without benefit of progressive.

So, if you will be your wife's hearing rep, you need to focus on reasons that would show the employer over-reacted to a situation that was caused by things outside your wife's control and / or anything that was within her control was a one time error in judgment that did not rise to the level of misconduct.


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