A school secretary has resigned after being accused of altering work time records for herself and her daughter, according to district documents obtained by the Paterson Times through an open records request.
Yvonne Williams, former head secretary at School 4, changed her work time entries on Kronos, the district’s time clock system for employees, 188 times from Jul. 3, 2018 through Mar. 15, 2019. As a result of the changes Williams was “paid for time she did not work,” according to documents.
Williams changed her punch in time to show she came in on time when she was late; changed her punch out time to show she stayed late at work; added punch in and punch out times for days when she was absent; deleted sick days and replaced them with punch in and out times to reflect she was at work when she was not, according to allegations contained in tenure charge documents.
For example, on Jul. 10, 2018, Williams allegedly changed her punch in time for Jul. 3, 2018 from 8:05 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., giving herself unearned 35 minutes.
On Oct. 18, 2018, Williams allegedly deleted a previously entered sick day and added punch in time, giving herself credit for a day she did not work.
On Oct. 26, 2018, she allegedly deleted another previously entered sick day and added a punch in time, giving herself credit for a day she did not work.
On Dec. 7, 2018, Williams allegedly changed her punch out time for Dec. 4, 2018 from 3:28 p.m. to 5 p.m., resulting in her being paid for 1 hour and 32 minutes of work she did not perform.
The 188 changes translated to Williams receiving pay for 25.5 days of work she did not perform, according to district records.
Williams’ denied the allegations against her in a letter sent by her attorney to the district.
As head secretary, Williams was in charge of maintaining accurate time and attendance for all School 4 staff members, giving her access to the Kronos system. She was prohibited by a district policy from changing her own time. As timekeeper for her school, Williams was only allowed to enter time for School 4 staff.
Williams’ daughter Candace Williams worked at another school building. She allegedly changed her daughter’s time records 46 times from Sept. 4, 2018 through Mar. 21, 2019.
Changes for the daughter included punch in time to show on-time arrival when she was late. She also changed punch out time to show the daughter was at work beyond when she actually punched out.
Williams also changed her daughter’s sick days.
For example, on Sept. 13, 2018, the daughter called out sick. A substitute was called in for that day.
The mother changed the attendance to state the daughter was attending in-service training on that day, giving her credit for a day she was absent.
There was no in-service training for aides on Sept. 13, 2018.
“The changes resulted in Candace Williams being paid for time she was not at work,” states tenure charge documents against the mother.
The daughter took sick days on Sept. 18 and Sept. 28, 2018. Her mother changed the records for both days to claim the daughter was attending in-service training.
No in-service training was scheduled for either day.
The daughter was out sick again on Jan. 18 and Jan. 23, 2019. The mother changed time records to show the daughter punched in at 8:15 and out at 3:10 p.m. on both days.
The daughter was paid for both days she did not work, according to public records.
On Mar. 21, 2019, the daughter visited the timekeeper for School 7 and asked her attendance be changed for Jan. 18, 2019.
The daughter claimed she swiped in, but the records showed she was absent. In Aesop, an attendance management software, the daughter herself entered her absence into the system.
The timekeeper checked the Kronos records and found the mother had added a punch in time for the daughter for Jan. 18, 2019 despite the daughter being out sick that day.
The daughter should have been docked one-half day’s pay for 16 tardy. Because her mother changed her punch in time, the daughter was able to avoid being docked pay for 8 days.
Williams’ attorney Albert Leonardo denied the charges against his client. His letter states the evidence against Williams, the mother, are “devoid of documentation” and “defective.”
The district prepared tenure charges against Williams, but opted to settle the matter.
Under the settlement agreement, Williams agreed to resign her tenured position effective Dec. 15, 2019. She would be provided a “neutral” letter of reference and employment verification.
Neither the district nor Williams can “take any adversarial action against each other,” under the agreement.
Williams remains suspended with pay. She worked in the district for 19 years, according to public records.
School board members approved the settlement agreement three weeks ago.