Thread: Thoughts Please

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  1. #1 Thoughts Please 
    Senior Member jendf's Avatar
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    So here's my situation:

    I've been working extra hours recently and was told I would be paid X amount per hour for the extra hours I pulled in over my normal 40 hours. My boss came to me on Friday and said that she was misinformed and I would only be getting paid Y amount of dollars instead.

    I wasn't terribly upset because the revised amount is still very generous and I'm happy to get the extra cash for the holidays.

    She said she felt bad about the error and would like to make it up to us (me and the other employees working overtime). She told me to take an extra day off for my upcoming vacation in January but to not report it. It would just be between her and I.

    I didn't feel comfortable doing this so I told her that I would love the extra day off but only if I could use vacation time to cover it. She said that was fine.

    That seems to be the end of it although things feel a little cool between me and my boss at the moment.

    I'm just wondering, should I have just taken the "free day". Is this common in your workplace? I've been in the working world for about 17 years now and this was a first for me. I guess I've been lucky.

    What she was suggesting was unethical, right?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jendf View Post
    What she was suggesting was unethical, right?
    Depends entirely on your workplace rules and culture, and also how much authority your boss has to make the offer. I have been offered similar arrangements in various jobs in the past, and I have offered them to those reporting to me.

    Always good if you can get (or give) the details of the arrangement by email. That way, it is all above board.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member jendf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    Depends entirely on your workplace rules and culture, and also how much authority your boss has to make the offer. I have been offered similar arrangements in various jobs in the past, and I have offered them to those reporting to me.

    Always good if you can get (or give) the details of the arrangement by email. That way, it is all above board.
    She didn't want this documented anywhere because she would probably get in trouble with the higher-ups over it. It was definitely an under the table type of thing which I think is why I had issue with it. The whole thing felt shady.
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  4. #4  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    I would not be comfortable with that. :( Too easy for it to turn around and bite you in the ass.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jendf View Post
    She didn't want this documented anywhere because she would probably get in trouble with the higher-ups over it. It was definitely an under the table type of thing which I think is why I had issue with it. The whole thing felt shady.
    Then you did the right thing. Lack of documentation is a deal-breaker for this kind of thing. It shows she does not have the authority to make the offer, which means that she would not back you up if it was ever questioned by higher-up.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member jendf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    I would not be comfortable with that. :( Too easy for it to turn around and bite you in the ass.
    That's what I thought!

    All I could think about was a story here locally involving 25-30 Phoenix police officers who took money for work they didn't actually do. Granted, their issue is on a much larger scale, but this felt like essentially the same thing to me.

    I felt like taking pay for a day where I didn't work (and I didn't use earned vacation hours) is essentially stealing.
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by jendf View Post
    I'm just wondering, should I have just taken the "free day". Is this common in your workplace? I've been in the working world for about 17 years now and this was a first for me. I guess I've been lucky.

    What she was suggesting was unethical, right?
    What she was suggesting was "justice". It's common that a manager will be told that compensation for extra effort will be 'X' only have an accountant, HR exec, or upper-level drone reverse that and make the manager look like a fool or a swindler.

    She had the ability to "make you whole" according to her original promise (which was probably based on information given to her from above). Doing so "off the books" is simply the only way to make management accountable for its promises.

    I have done this myself (both taking free leave and giving it). As long as companies have a laundry list of internal and external rules and regs that govern the most minute aspects of employee compensation, managers will always have to be creative to reward extra work.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member jendf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    Then you did the right thing. Lack of documentation is a deal-breaker for this kind of thing. It shows she does not have the authority to make the offer, which means that she would not back you up if it was ever questioned by higher-up.
    I feel better now. I mean, I felt fine before but I had never been in this situation before so I thought maybe my instinct on this was off.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member jendf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    What she was suggesting was "justice". It's common that a manager will be told that compensation for extra effort will be 'X' only have an accountant, HR exec, or upper-level drone reverse that and make the manager look like a fool or a swindler.

    She had the ability to "make you whole" according to her original promise (which was probably based on information given to her from above). Doing so "off the books" is simply the only way to make management accountable for its promises.

    I have done this myself (both taking free leave and giving it). As long as companies have a laundry list of internal and external rules and regs that govern the most minute aspects of employee compensation, managers will always have to be creative to reward extra work.
    Have you ever had an employee say no thanks when you offered the free leave?
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by jendf View Post
    Have you ever had an employee say no thanks when you offered the free leave?
    No, I never have but then we've both shared the understanding that the work promised was both beyond the employee's contracted work and the work was completed on time and with high quality. He or she earned the compensation regardless of whether or not some pinhead in Accounting understood that.

    That you have never run into one of these rare situations in 17 years is remarkable but it also shows you that these deals are exceptional - not a routine business practice designed to rip-off the company. If your manager wanted to compensate you this way several times a year (or more often), then that would indicate that there was a major screw-up in management. As a one-off thing during a labor emergency, it's just fair.
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