worker accidentally commits time fraud

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‘If I’m in the building I’m getting paid’: Worker commits time fraud after ‘forgetting’ to clock out for 6 months

'I’ve literally never clocked out for breaks or lunch.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Sep 10, 2023

Wage theft is a common crime committed by employers against their workers. According to a 2014 article by the Economic Policy Institute, “Wage theft is a nationwide epidemic that costs American workers as much as $50 billion a year,” though other estimates put the number closer to $22 billion.

Frequently, this theft takes the form of time violations. A worker will work overtime, then not be paid overtime wages, or at all. A worker may also work through their allotted lunch break and not be paid for the time, or the worker may simply be asked to work off-the-clock uncompensated. Additionally, a worker may have their clock-in and clock-out times changed by their employer, depriving them of payable hours for the extra time.

In contrast, workers can also commit time theft. This is when a worker has clocked in for time that they are not actually working. Sometimes, this is accidental—a worker can simply forget to clock out either for their break or at the end of their shift.

Other times, this can be intentional, such as clocking in but not working or sleeping through one’s shift. All told, QuickBooks estimates that “time theft costs U.S. employers $11 billion a year.”

Recently, a user on TikTok sparked discussion after sharing her own time theft experience. 



♬ Just A Girl – No Doubt

In a video with over 225,000 views as of Sunday morning, TikTok user Shylo (@hannah.bakerstwin) writes, “POV: you ‘forgot’ to punch out for lunch at work 37 times over the last 6 months and got paid over $600 when you weren’t supposed to get paid and your manager tells you to go to the office to talk to her and she tells you you’ve committed time fraud but you’re literally just a teenage girl.”

“I purposely did not clock out lmao,” she later added in a comment. “If I’m in the building I’m getting paid lmaoo.”

Some commenters were ready to admit that they, too, have played tricks with their timesheets.

“Me ’cause if I clock out at 3:01 instead of 3:00 i get paid until 3:15,” a user wrote.

“I’ve literally never clocked out for breaks or lunch,” another user added.

However, others were quick to tell their stories of questionable time fraud or time theft allegations.

“I forgot to clock out once when I left work, because I was having a MISCARRIAGE, at age 20, and got fired for time fraud,” alleged a commenter.

“My manager tried to say I was committing time fraud for forgetting to clock in/out (i would fix it later) but he literally did crack on shift so,” a second viewer commented.

“My old just said I commuted time fraud when I had a 7 minute bathroom break due to my pcos,” a third wrote.

“You know if I clock in early or late but not if I’m clocked in for 30+ hours unscheduled??” asked an additional TikToker.

Even more users noted that, if Shylo was able to get away with this for long enough for it to become an issue, it was likely indicative of a problem with the workplace itself.

“Your manager should have looked over your time before approving your card. It’s also on them too!” a user wrote.

“As a person who works in HR, it is NOT your fault!” echoed another TikToker. “Managers are literally supposed to track/ approve hours on their end.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Shylo via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Sep 10, 2023, 8:46 am CDT