Forcing salaried employees to work OT without any Flex or Comp Time

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Big_Bend, Feb 6, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Big_Bend

    Big_Bend Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 19, 2010
    Houston, TX
    So I started working at a new company last August, been there 6 months now. Its a mid size software development firm, maybe 800 employees, doing million dollar IT development projects around the country. The company is privately held and a foreign firm has controlling interest.

    And its a sweat shop. The programmers, software developers, systems teams, database administrators (thats me), all the hands on people, are forced to work 60 or more hours a week, late nights, weekends. We are perpetually on call, my boss schedules meetings for late Fridays and on weekends.

    This one project that I'm on is way behind schedule and under resourced... the customer is not happy, big time stress. So the pressure is ON!! Huge demands from upper management to increase even more hours and double our productivity ("lets do more work in parallel" ya right lol).

    Ok thats life in the big city working on huge software projects, I get that, I'm a big boy, been doing this for 30 years. But the problem is this company strictly enforces a no flex time no comp time policy.

    If I'm forced to work 20 hours over the weekend, I cannot leave work a few hours early one day the next week to help make up for it. The policy states that if we do not work at least 6 hours in the office each work day, then we must take at least 4 hours of PTO to compensate. We only get 120 hours of PTO for the entire year and that must include all vacation or ANY time out of the office.

    So I'm being forced to work OT all weekend, and on Monday if after working 5 hours in the office I have to leave early, they will dock me 4 hours of PTO vacation... we CANNOT ever carry forward any hours we previously worked, every day is a new demanding day, no exceptions.

    This project stress will go on the entire year, there is really no end in sight. This company also has a policy of forcing us to fill out time sheets every week documenting every task we worked on, for billing purposes... and if we don't fill out these sheets, we will not get a paycheck the next week, even tho we are salaried.

    What are my legal options? I like this job, the coworkers are great, the work is interesting and educational... but I refuse to be exploited like this. I want fair compensation somehow for work that is well over and beyond the standard 40 hour work week.

    Does your job force you to work overtime, are you also a salaried employee.. and if so, how are you compensated?
  2. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    Nov 12, 2008
    I've been salaried for over ten years after working hourly prior to that. My benefits are polar opposite to what you describe. If I work 12 or 13 hours on Tues. and get caught up, I am encouraged to leave early Wed. Ian allowed to work from home on occasion and being salaried is viewed as a flexible work schedule (by both parties)

    I doubt there is anything legally you could do. Though their terms suck, it sounds like they have defined their conditions of employment and by showing up every day you agree to these. You may have to look for an employer that shows more respect for the employee and their benefits.

    Maybe someone will come along with more expertise in the matter, good luck.
  3. Short Circuit

    Short Circuit Tele-Meister

    Dec 10, 2006
    Ontario, Canada
    I am a salaried employee.
    My base is 40 hours per week. I do work some odd hours and on weekends which I knew about going into this job but I get to take those hours off in lieu time.
    I am allowed to bank up to 10 hours and then I have to email my supervisor and he will tell me to take a day off (8 hours lieu time).
    If I want to use just a few hours I have to let HR know.
    We also have 42 hours of personal time we can use and of course your vacation time (I'm up to 3 weeks a year)

    I don't know what to tell you about your situation.I sounds to me the only way not to be exploited there is to find another job.

  4. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    Are you looking of another Job? Sound like it's time to move on you certainly seem unhappy.
  5. Wallo Tweed

    Wallo Tweed Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2011
    Penns Wood
  6. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan Friend of Leo's

    Jun 1, 2006
    Nashua NH
    When I was in a/p department at my old job, I was paid hourly for my 40 hours, very little O/T, maybe 20 hours a year if that.

    after we were bought by another company, at the next review my boss' supervisor interviewed me. "We would like you to go to salary."

    "What does that entail?"

    "Well, you would be working the same hours as we do (meaning salaried upper managers.)"

    "I see. And what do you work."

    "Monday through Friday 8AM to 6PM, and 5 hours each saturday and sunday. And more for each month close and quarterly reports."

    "Sounds like 37.5 % increase in hours to me, what about salary? Will my compensation increase by that much as well?"

    "It will be the same as you get now."

    "So you're telling me that I have to work at least 15 hours a week more, to take home the same amount of money I get now?"

    "Yes. And you get paid 2 times a month."

    "Let me refer back to my review, where I was commended on my ability to do my job in a timely manner. Why would I need to work those hours then?"

    "Because ... that's what we work."

    "I see. I can get my work done in 40 hours a week. What are you guys not doing right?"

    "I ... I don't see what you mean."

    "You're asking me to give up 15 more hours of my personal time, to have to go to work 7 days a week, to take home the same amount of money I get now. For doing the job that I've just been told I'm performing excellently. And I do not get a corresponding increase in compensation?"


    "I see. I will decline accepting your invitation to join on salaried then."

    "What? Why?"

    "It's not worth it. I don't make enough money as it is now (which was true), there's no way I'm working 15 hours a week more, having to come in every single day, for the same inadequate take home pay. No, I do not want to be salaried."

    **** 'em. They laid me off. The company got sold to an overseas firm that closed them down a few years later.
  7. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 17, 2013
    Ottawa Ontario Canada
    I believe legally here in my province, there is no requirement to pay overtime until after 60 hours. The so called standard 40 hour work week is only in certain circles and it certainly is not legislated.
    Too many hours and not enough breaks hurts productivity and burns people out. We are competing in world markets now where if we won't do it, someone else will.
    Deals are made and broken on a half a cent these days.
    If your company can't and their employees won't compete, they will close their doors.
    Greed is a very distasteful thing.
    The problem is not going to get better any time soon.
    The worst trend is the trend toward hiring part time people so that benefits are not necessary. Ask them if they would like to work 60 hours a week.
    People get spoiled.
    When I managed a fleet of over 2000 pieces of equipment with tons of staff, one day they shut the doors to 15 of our fleet operations very suddenly. I was the only one left but since a manager needs staff, they eliminated me a month later.
    During the interim, my float operator (tractor trailer driver) came back while I was toiling alone. He said he had been interviewed for a trucking job.
    He was whining about having to work 60 hours a week.
    It looked pretty inviting to me who was about to be let go and my wife who was one of the ones already let go. I said "But they pay you 60 hours".
    Then he said "They want our breaks to be only 15 minutes"
    I replied "Your breaks here were only supposed to be 15 minutes"
    I often had to get people moving after taking a half hour break instead.
    Love it or leave it. There are no other options. Work is work.
    The last job I had before retirement had 10,000 applicants.
    Over 1,000 attended the first written portion of the interview which was mostly math.
    All the youngsters looked at me (the old man) when I walked into the room. I laughed knowingly. I had been through 5 of these. I was ready to rock.
    150 moved on to the verbal panel interview.
    I had to laugh at the moans from all the youngsters when they were told to place any calculators under their chairs and were not allowed to be used durng the written portion.
    I got the job. It was shift work and 12 hour shifts. Some days I was so tired, I had to stop 3 times for coffee just to get home in one piece.
    I made it to retirement. whew. That's the ticket.
    I know your pain. I have also known hunger and so has the rest of the world.
    We will work without complaint. This global marketplace is not something we can solve by complaining.
    There are niche jobs that cannot be outsourced. These are less and less and less.
    I used to hate when people used to say "You're lucky you have a job." so I won't say it.
  8. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    I also used to be a salaried employee, in sales engineering and professional services for several software companies. It was the same at those companies although perhaps not as bad as you describe. I figure I usually worked 45 hours a week, sometimes more, and traveled every week. I was reimbursed for travel expenses, but not my time of course. I eventually got laid off. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got lucky and got a contract job around 10 years ago, writing custom software for a hospital. I bill by the hour now and work from home. LOVE IT. I doubt you have legal recourse in your situation. Like others have suggested, I would advise looking for a new gig.
  9. kidmeatball

    kidmeatball Tele-Meister

    Jan 17, 2016
    Delta, BC
    The one thing I ask myself as a salaried employee is, does my compensation match the hours that I work. If you're making enough cash, maybe the stress is worth it?

    In canadian jurisdictions that I know about, no work contract can be made that contravenes the local employment standards act. In Alberta for example, overtime is defined as hours over 8 in a day, or hours over 40 in a week. I'd have a read through your local employment laws for what the rules are. Special consideration is sometimes

    I have a young family and I really feel like no compensation is worth spending so much time away.
  10. jimd

    jimd Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2006
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I would update my resume.
  11. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Friend of Leo's

    Jan 12, 2007
    Cambridge, England
    I know what I'd do. I'd tell them to shove their job up their ****. Seriously, life's too short to spend it working all the time making money for somebody else.
  12. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    Plundertown (Gasville) OR
    Coincidental to this thread, I just finished reading Profit Over People, by Noam Chomsky. He explains the machinery behind this.
  13. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    ^^^Yikes ! In before the lock .

    To the OP:

    The man has you.

    It's a whole different world now post-crash.

    But - you have 30 years software experience so your options are a lot more open than many.

    As someone above said - update your resume...

    In my company (tile and stone) we go home when we want to go home and the homeowners sometimes (but not always) ask "Oh - ok thanks ! Are you coming back tomorrow ? No worries I was just going to make you lunch if you were..."

    But then again, I'm sure I have way more aches and pains than you ! :lol:
  14. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    the new normal, for many
  15. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Philly Burbs
    time to take the peter gibbons approach to this job
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    There may be 'Legal Options' but usually not, if you pull the legal card you'll be out soon for one reason or another. Those managers are already stressed about Friday meetings and their own spousal fights about weekends.

    You were started on an already-behind-schedule project. They probably hired you and a fistful of new people to flog the project back on track (silly management doesn't realize the communication network grows geometrically so more people makes a project slower -- how many more meetings a day are going on rather than writing lines of code?). They over-sold the software and under-sold the time commitment. The customer probably gamed feature creep too so the finished program will have 50% more code than originally planned while demanding the same quoted price.

    The simple problem is the interview team failed to give you a Realistic Job Preview.

    The practical situation is you thought you hired in for $X/40hrs rate while the real pay is at a rate of $X/60hrs. Change to that view and it will help. If you are getting fantastic intangible benefits, like working for a brand-name company and doing unique projects that are in demand and marketable elsewhere then that transferable knowledge/skill-set is valuable to you to get that next job. If you know this work-sprint only lasts until the product ships in a year and the next project will be different then that is something to consider too.
  17. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

    Mar 21, 2015
    You and the rest of your fellow employees should look into your rights under the law. You might be due a whole bunch of OT.
  18. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Mar 11, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Welcome to the new normal. From your description you actually may have something to be thankful for. You don't mention the company outsourcing jobs to China or shipping in H1Bs from India and requiring you to train your cheaper replacement. Like it or not, in todays IT/software field, you have a very, very desirable gig. Suck it up or work for McDonalds (until they replace the staff with robots).
  19. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    First world problem. As the world economy continues to struggle healthy economies further exploit human resources. It's not getting easier for any of my western friends in the private sector. It's worse for the developing economies. I speak with some clerks who fear job loss in a way that is palatable even over the phone. It's especially frightening for some women working in less enlightened cultures. Losing their job could equate to starving children so they put up with a boat-load of crap, as much as the boss can shovel.

    Count your blessings.
  20. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Texas is a "right to work" state which has unusual consequences. It is very difficult to uphold employee contracts like NDA or other clauses which prevent a person from leaving and taking a competitive job and disclosing knowledge. The same laws also benefit employers who can choose to enforce work hours with the only option being to quit. Why common sense never gets in laws is beyond me.

    Look at the Compensation section here.

    Paying overtime is the right thing to do, whether it is required or not! So is being committed to making your company a success. Common sense.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.