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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5250
Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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My son just called my and told me he was confronted with an

Customer Question

My son just called my and told me he was confronted with an HR person that he has been padding his claimed hours worked. What can happen to him?
JA: Was this discussed with a manager, HR, or an attorney?
Customer: His boss and an HR person. They let him go for the day and reports to work tomorrow and they said they would talk about it further and he is really concerned and doesn't know what they are going to do?
JA: Is the employment "at will," union, full time, or part time?
Customer: He is in a college co-op for a paper mill company in Wisconsin. Paid hourly.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: What can they do. Let him go, charge him back for excess hours or worse report it as a crime?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. There are a couple of avenues that HR can take. If what they find is legitimate, then they will probably terminate him. Because it is a breach of contract to over report the number of hours that one works, they may require that he pay that money back. And the worst case scenario they would sue him for those back wages. They could refer him to the district attorney for fraud, but it would be up to the district attorney to try to pursue something like that. There is a good chance that they may not even bother because it might be not worth the DA’s time to try to do that.

Follow up questions are free, so please feel free to ask away. You can also click here in the future to request me individually. If you don’t have any additional questions, were you satisfied with my service today?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. He is a college kid, has no money and made a mistake. Do you think it would go to a DA? That seems like time not well spent on their part. I know anything can happen but appreciate your advise.
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

You are certainly welcome. I don't have reason to believe that given his age and given the likely amount of money involved, the DA would pursue something like this. Basically, I think if he plays it smart and tries to make it right, he can forget about it. personally, I did the same thing back in college and I didn't run into any issues. Did you have any other questions for me?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
A couple more questions. He is schedule to meet again with the HR manager and his boss tomorrow morning to further discuss what will happen next. What should he be prepared with? Talk about or not talk about? He is extremely nervous with what is going to happen. Thanks
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

I can certainly understand his nervousness. I would be very nervous as well. One of the things that I would recommend is that he admit to nothing because if they do decide to refer him to the DA, they can use his statements. I think that one of the things that he should do is just listen to what they have to say and just be as honest as possible. But one thing that I wish I had done differently was not admit to anything that could get me in trouble. He could simply make statements such as, “Well, I don’t recall.” This may not help him keep his job, but it could certainly keep him out of jail.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Just to clarify. Today when confronted he did admit to the fact that he was padding his hours. So probably too late on that front. Again he is a college kid and his first real job and made a mistake. He is very sorry for the situation and has let them know this but doesn't want this on his record. He is willing to make things right and let it all just disappear if they will. Your advise?
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

I see. If that is the case, then my recommendation to him would be not to admit to anything else at all, and just be as respectful and honest as possible about the situation. He should do what he can to keep it business related and understand that if they start talking criminal actions, he can say, "I don't really want to respond to this because only the DA has authority to bring charges and I don't want to say anything without my lawyer," even if he doesn't have one present.