The need to control workers' workdays in Brazil is established by article 74, paragraph 2, of the Consolidated Labor Laws - CLT, according to which the recording of arrival and departure, also known as time cards, is mandatory in establishments with more than ten employees. Control of workdays can be manual, mechanical, or electronic, according to the CLT and instructions from the Ministry of Labor.

With the evolution of technology, which has altered different aspects of personal and work relationships, this control has become a much simpler, more modern and effective procedure with time card recording methods including biometrics, electronic records, and even cell phone applications. Even so, much is still discussed regarding the need to get the employee's signature on the time cards in order to validate control of workdays. There are several factors to consider in relation to this topic.

It is unquestionable that there is no obligation in the Brazilian legal system to sign time cards, regardless of the time tracking system used by the employer. It may be argued that, under the terms of article 5, item II of the Federal Constitution ("No one shall be obliged to do something or refrain from doing something other than by law"), the employee's signature would be dispensed with to validate the time cards due to lack of corresponding legal provision in article 74, paragraph 2, of the CLT.

In this sense, the Superior Labor Court (TST) has taken the majority position that the mere absence of signature on the time cards does not invalidate the documents as evidence. This understanding is shared by the Labor Appellate Court (TRT) of the 2nd Circuit - São Paulo, which even issued a circuit-wide binding restatement in this sense, thereby assigning to the employee the burden of disproving the time cards, even those without a signature, as a means of evidence.

However, there are still decisions in Brazilian courts to the opposite effect, often in the TRT of the 1st Circuit, Rio de Janeiro, which are based on conjectures regarding the inability of employees to check the electronic control records pertaining to them. It is therefore certain that the matter is not settled among Brazilian courts.

It is important to emphasize that the submission of records proving controls of workdays is the burden of the employer, as established in Precedent 338 of the TST. But, once the time cards have been submitted to the Judiciary, it is the employee's burden to disprove these documents as evidence.

In order to protect against possible allegations of time card fraud, the employer must use the Electronic Time Registration System (SREP), established in Ministerial Ordinance No. 1,510/2009 of the Ministry of Labor and Employment. It may also use the means of recording working hours authorized in collective bargaining agreements, as was approved in the Labor Reform.

In this context, it is possible to say that signatures on time cards have fallen into disuse, thanks to the modern means of recording time now accepted, and signatures may now be dispensed with in validating controls of workdays, a situation that is coming to be accepted by the majority of Brazilian courts.