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One-Third of Americans Cheat Their Companies Out of Pay

looking-at-watch Credit: Dreamstime

One-third of Americans who punch in at work admit to being untruthful when it comes to the time clock, new research indicates.

A survey of more than 9,000 employees worldwide revealed that workers in India and China are far more likely than U.S. workers to misrepresent the hours they work.

The survey, commissioned by the Workforce Institute, also detailed the variety of ways in which workers lie about the amount of time they spend working. That includes clocking in earlier or out later than scheduled, having someone else clock them in or out, neglecting to clock out for lunch or breaks, or adding time to timesheets.

Leading the way in fudging their time cards were employees in India, where 73 percent said they have falsified the time they spent working. China followed, with 72 percent admitting to doctoring their punching.

Employees in Australia, Canada, France, Mexico and the United Kingdom also admitted to engaging in such behavior to receive pay for time they never worked.

While previous studies have shown that U.S. employees cheat on their time sheets, this is the first time they've been compared to their peers around the world, said Joyce Maroney, director of the Workforce Institute, a think tank sponsored by workforce-management consultant Kronos Inc.

"The vast disparity amongst regions is startling," Maroney said. "Organizations with employees around the world need to take a hard look at their timekeeping technologies and policies and make sure that they are using the latest technology, configuring their solutions appropriately and setting correct policies to minimize this kind of fraud."

The survey also examined how employees felt when clocking in to work each day.  The most popular response in almost every region was "Looking forward to starting a good day’s work." That wasn't the case in France, however. There, 30 percent of those surveyed said they have a feeling of being bored with their job.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.