Very few employers still use physical timecards, although some companies that still have machines that actually stamp a physical card when you clock in and clock out. You are much more likely to either need to maintain records and writing, log in through a computer program or clock-in at a special station using a digital code. The conversion to digital time clocks could make it easier for your employer to violate your wage rights as a worker.
You should receive some sort of record of your clock in and clock out. If you do not, taking a photograph with your mobile phone each time you start or leave work can be a good way to create an authoritative record of the actual time stamp when you start and end of your shift. Doing so may seem like an extra, unnecessary step, but it actually protects you.
Some employers will change your timecard to pay you less
As crazy as it may sound, companies or individual managers may eventually take it upon themselves to reduce their payroll obligations by taking a few minutes off of an individual’s time clock. Although 5 or 10 minutes here and there may not seem like a big deal, those little losses of paid time can add up over many weeks to be a substantial amount of money for you as a worker.
Your employer has an obligation under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to maintain their timecard records for at least two years. If you notice a discrepancy, comparing your records to theirs can help you determine if you may have a valid wage-and-hour claim against your employer. If they no longer have the records as required, that could be a good warning sign that something untoward has happened.