Yes, it is illegal for the employer to change a time record if the change is untrue. Sometimes an employer will change a time record to correct an error by the employee or by the employer. This change is usually to a computerized database and usually there is an automatic audit trail in the computer program. There are several issues as to how to deal with this occurrence.
You can tell the employer about it and ask for it to be fixed. This might work or might get you fired. Since you might get fired, it is prudent to make the request, with details to an identified managerial emlployee, in writing and keep a copy. Doing it in writing might get you fired. You have to decide what is best for you. In my experience, employees who put up with unlawful practices by employers can expect future unlawful practices.
If you get fired you have a claim for the unpaid wages under the California Labor Code. You also have a claim for retaliation if you were fired as result of your complaint. The same holds true for adverse employment actions short of termination (demotion, cut in hours.)
If you are going to act "in concert" with any co-workers about this, I would strongly advise getting legal advice before proceeding. Acting "in concert" has various consequences which should be evaluated for you by legal counsel.
The employer's change to time records, if to reduce your actual time worked, not only attacks your rights, but also the rights of other law-abiding employers who pay their employees according to the Labor Code. Therefore, you may also have a claim under Business & Professions Code sections 17200, et seq. I would strongly advise you to seek legal counsel.
Any answer to this question is general discussion, and not legal advice. I would need to be retained and to know more facts before giving a legal opinion.
It is not legal for an employer to alter time-cards to deprive employees of overtime premiums actually earned. If this is going on at your place of employment, you should see an employment law attorney, as soon as possible to review the facts of the case and to discuss what your legal options are. An experienced employment law attorney knows what kind of records to ask for to keep an employer honest. You can also file a complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. But make sure you are keeping accurate record of the hours you worked.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
If your employer changed your records to avoid overtime pay there are at least three issues. First, as you well know, all employees in California are entitled to overtime pay. Second, depending on how you were paid, there may be a minimum wage issue for those hours you worked overtime Lastly, the California Labor Code requires employers to keep accurate records and provide accurate payroll statements to all employees.
You should seek a consultation with a employment law attorney to explore your options.
I invite you to explore our law firm's website for further information regarding California wage and hour law - www.bayareawagelaw.com.
This publication is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. This publication is provided by STUCKEY LAW OFFICES, APC with understanding and agreement that STUCKEY LAW OFFICES, APC is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services by posting said material. The services of a competent professional should be sought if legal or other specific expert assistance is required.
It is clearly a violation of the California Labor Code to alter time cards to deny overtime pay to an employee. You need to consult with an employment lawyer so that he can obtain the records from the employer.