After she was caught using tracking software to claim unworked hours, a Canadian civil tribunal ordered a woman to pay damages to her former employer.
Karlee Besse was a British Columbia-based accountant who initially claimed she had been wrongfully fired and sought $5,000 (PS3,056) in compensation for unpaid wages.
Reach CPA claimed that she was fired because she “engaged in theft of time” and counterclaimed for the wages she received for the hours she misrepresented as well as for the amount she owed on an advance given to Ms Besse at her beginning work.
According to the firm, Ms. Besse had spent more than 50 hours in her timesheets on tasks that were not work-related.
Reach had installed TimeCamp, a staff tracking software, on her laptop before she started weekly performance meetings.
The tribunal document into this case stated that Reach had done an analysis of Miss Besse’s Timesheets and TimeCamp data and found irregularities between her Timesheets, and the software usage logs.
“Reach submitted videos that showed how TimeCamp tracked Miss Bess’s activity and time.
“It is clear that Miss Besse committed time theft by recording work time on her timesheets, which were not tracked by TimeCamp.”
Ms. Besse stated that she found the software hard to use and couldn’t get it to distinguish between personal and work use.
The company demonstrated how Timecamp could tell the difference, including if the device was used to access streaming services such as Disney+ and how long.
Ms. Besse said that she also spent considerable time with paper copies of client documents, which would not have been captured at TimeCamp. She did not tell Reach because she was afraid and “knew” they wouldn’t like to hear it.
TimeCamp data showed Ms. Besse’s printing. It said that she couldn’t have printed the required number of copies and that the details needed to enter into the software would need to be provided by the firm.
“I’m really sorry”, says accountant
Ms. Besse was confronted by the timekeeping analysis during a video-recorded meeting with the company. She stated: “Clearly I’ve plugged times to files that were not mine and that wasn’t correct or appropriate in any manner or fashion. And I recognize that and so I’m really sorry… “I can’t hide it.”
Megan Stewart, a Tribunal member, found Reach had proven that Ms. Besse had engaged time theft. She described it as “a very serious type of misconduct”.
She dismissed the wrongful termination claim and stated: “Given trust and honesty are essential for an employment relationship, especially in remote-work environments where direct supervision is absent,” Miss Besse’s misconduct resulted in an irreparable breakup in her employment relationship. Reach was therefore discharged proportionately.
Reach was ordered by Ms. Besse to pay Reach $2,757 (PS1,691) including “debt & damages for time theft” as well as the remaining portion of the advance she received from the firm.