How did you set up the date range in pay periods? If you have two date fields: PeriodStart and PeriodEnd, then this relationship will match by range:
TimeRecords::Date > PayPeriod::PeriodStart AND
TimeRecords::Date < PayPeriod::PeriodEnd
This is just one possibility. there are other methods that can be used to match by date range.
The date ranges were set up as you assumed. Setting up the relationship the way you stated allowed me to see what date range the time card date falls in. What would be my next step in keeping the time records portal filtered by a selected pay period date range? I've trying to do it with a calculation in the portal set up filter but can't figure it out.
I wouldn't use a portal filter due to problems that then have to be solved to update what you see in the portal.
I'd use a relationship similar to the above but with start and end date fields that can be edited. If the pay period is always the same number of days, the End date field can be a calculation field that adds a specific number of days to the start date in order to compute the end date. If you pay BiMonthly, this can still be done but the calculation becomes a bit more complex due to the different numbers of days in different months.
In any case, your "next" and "previous" buttons can use a script to assign a different Start date to that start date field in order for the portal to then show a different set of records in that date range.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!