If you are using a maintenance form at work to record your time punches, you are putting your job in jeopardy. For those members that are not familiar with the term maintenance form, it is a hand written form used to record time punches instead of using the time clock. Some of our other union employers may use similar forms to record missed punches, but we have noticed an increased amount of terminations from Ralph’s for alleged falsification of time records.

There are many legitimate reasons for not using the time clock. It could be that you are unable to punch in early, or you are working a different shift, or there is a late meal period just to name a few. So in these cases the member may be blocked out from making a normal punch. Sometimes the punch may need a manager’s override and there may be no one available with a key. In that case, you should proceed with extreme caution.

The number one reason for concern is that your manager or loss prevention may compare the time you wrote in on the form to the time that appears on the surveillance camera. If this time is different, they will jump to the conclusion that you have falsified your time so that you could benefit in some way. Even if the time is off by just a couple of minutes. When confronted with this discrepancy, it is impossible for you to defend yourself because the punch in question was a couple of weeks back. It can be just as difficult for your union rep to try to explain the difference in the time recorded and the video.

The best advice I can give you to help from getting in trouble with maintenance forms is:

1. Always have a manager or person-in-charge verify the time that you record and ask them to initial the form as a witness.

2. Use the time clock as your official start and stop time.

3. Be as accurate as possible with the times, do not round off.

4. If you do not remember the time or if you are not sure, ask the store director to check the video.

You may think that this advice is being too overly cautious and that you are a good employee that always follows the rules. Or maybe you feel like you do not have anything to be concerned about. Let me assure you all that I wouldn’t be warning you about this if we didn’t have a great number of terminations over this issue. Although we will do everything we can to represent you, your company has prevailed in arbitration on numerous occasions in falsification of time records.