As a general matter and best practice, non-exempt employees -- and not their supervisors -- should record time in and out when beginning and ending work, as well as for any unpaid meal or rest periods and then record the time when they resume work when such break is completed (as opposed to having a system of where it is automatically done for them via a generic schedule, or not done at all). Whatever method an employer uses, the hours worked should be accurately recorded, and to this end it is not advisable that the employer have prefilled or generic time records for their employees as this may not result in an accurate accounting of hours actually worked.
Note that even if an employee does not comply with the employer’s policies for keeping accurate time records, while the employer can discipline the employee consistent with company policy and past practice (i.e. warnings, write ups, etc.), the employee must be paid all hours worked and applicable overtime. Ultimately, the burden is on the employer to prove that it has maintained accurate and reliable time records in the face of any federal or state audit or a claim by an employee for unpaid wages. For this reason, we would advise against using generic time records. Employees also should be reminded of your timekeeping policies and the importance of employees recording their own time and doing so honestly and accurately. Managers or employees should be reminded that anyone who violate these policies will be subject to discipline, including termination.
This information is provided by Enquirion HR & Employment Law helpline. One of the many services you can access with your EPLI coverage.