What Happens if You Forget To Clock Out?

Forgetting to clock out is common and can happen to anyone but is important to know the steps to resolve the situation, which typically entails submitting an electronic request to update your time card or letting your manager know immediately.

While not a huge mistake, it can lead to consequences for the employee and employer if not addressed and corrected.

The first step is to mark down the time you finished working once you realize what has occurred. Try to be as accurate as possible since your time card is the record that affects your pay. If left incorrect, the paycheck might be considerably lower. Alternatively, if you accrued overtime and forgot to clock out, your employer may be liable to pay you for the additional hours worked.

Next, review the company time card policy. In a perfect world, the policy will have clear guidelines about what action to take to get the problem resolved. However, for smaller companies, sometimes a policy simply doesn’t exist. If this is the case, the next best option is to let your manager or direct supervisor know and request guidance on how to add in your time punch.

Almost all digital and electronic time cards have the option to submit a revision to your time card. Often this will consist of entering the punch, writing a brief explanation, and sending it to your manager or HR for approval. If the company is using paper time cards or another method, it might be as simple as writing it in.

In the future, try to establish a routine when clocking in and out, making it a habit when and where it occurs each day. This will help you avoid potential payroll issues, disciplinary actions, and negative impacts on your job performance. But overall, forgetting to clock out is no reason to panic and can be resolved.


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