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Old 01-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
Andrea
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Default Has workplace etiquette changed?

Am I behind? Has the workplace etiquette changed on contacting someone on their day off or do I just work with crazy?

So instead of lay someone off, we all took substantial cuts in our hours at work. Not the best but hey-- I still have a job. But driving me crazy with calling or expecting me to come in on the days I am not paid to work anymore. I work with kids and families so if there is a crisis and I can help I give a few hours regardless of the day of the week or my hours. But I know I am giving the hours away....

It is a different situration when they schedule meetings on my day off and then there are the phone calls every weekday I am not working. Phone calls to relay non essential messages or ask about paperwork or catch up on stuff that should already be done....

Then I don't come in on my days off or return phone calls (I have managed another money making enterprise in my unpaid two days off)-- and I am called unprofessional or rude. Whereas I think it is unprofessional to contact someone when they are not working and not even in the ofice to answer questions about paperwork in the office!

Of course there are a host of other problems that probably lead to us all being on austerity hours-- but this is killing me right now!


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Old 01-22-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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Forcing you to work without pay is illegal. Document every single time they ask you and/or you work it and also who says what to whom ... every time. That way, if you do stand up for yourself and they fire you, you have at least some avenue of recourse.

There is a pact, an agreement within reasonable terms, that an employee and an employer enter into when hired. It does not have to be written ... though if it is you should obviously keep it on file for yourself. The "unspoken" part of that agreement, and also the way they interpret your job description, has to be within reason. There are limits to this.
If push comes to shove, this is something that you might further ask an attorney about. Some attorneys will give you a "thumbnail" impression of your circumstances over the phone. Calling a few of them might give you some concrete insight as to the situation.

Determine your limits in advance ... and do not set precedent by acquiescing to demands which do not fit the reasonable limits you've established for yourself. Often the problem is related to just one moron in management. Whether one or two people ... or an entire culture ... be firm and hopefully they will get the message.

Ask ... repeatedly if necessary... that they communicate non essential information to you by email. Not by your phone.

It is not a matter of them having bad etiquette.
It is partially bad management practices. Partially the economy. And partially the fact that people will try to take advantage of you when they can; and you can not rely upon "the better angels" of other peoples nature.


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Old 01-22-2012, 07:39 PM   #3
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I am assuming you are an hourly employee. If so, when they call you, you need to simply tell them you do NOT work for free. It takes some gumption to do this, but you are being taken advantage of, and you are letting them.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jacob_Marley View Post
Forcing you to work without pay is illegal. Document every single time they ask you and/or you work it and also who says what to whom ... every time. That way, if you do stand up for yourself and they fire you, you have at least some avenue of recourse.
Yeah, this. Calling you to come in is fine so long as they pay you. If they aren't, they are breaking the law and you need to keep records for the inevitable sh*tstorm that will follow this type of practice if it continues long enough. Also note that if you are working over 40 hours and hourly, they need to be paying you time and a half most places.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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First it depends on if your hourly or salary. Sadly, if your salary, your kinda SOL. Thats just the nature of the beast. However, if your hourly, then it is flat out illegal. Having been an HR manager, I can tell you, you cant work without getting paid for it. You cant even take work related phone calls. Meaning you cant discuss work over the phone. Only to clear up any minor issues or deal with scheduling or such. In some cases, you cant even be bothered while you are on a verifiable, approved break. Any harrassment they may give you about such events, especially ones in which they are trying to bully you or intimidate you is illegal and considered harrassment. You should goto your state employment commission and explain to them, with any documentation, what is going on.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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Andrea do you happen to be working for the military as a civilian contractor? The reason I ask is because my wife took a job as a civilian contractor for the Navy. They expected her to act as a miltary member, get called into work, called on the phone at home, work late and even expected her to be 'on duty' some weekends. No extra pay for any of this. The military work that way and some of them don't understand why this an out of the question request for civilians.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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Andrea do you happen to be working for the military as a civilian contractor? The reason I ask is because my wife took a job as a civilian contractor for the Navy. They expected her to act as a miltary member, get called into work, called on the phone at home, work late and even expected her to be 'on duty' some weekends. No extra pay for any of this. The military work that way and some of them don't understand why this an out of the question request for civilians.
No I work for a nonprofit but looks just like that! No cool uniform or benefits though..

I am now supposed to be an hourly employee with a much reduced work hours tied to grant reductions. I have set my limits and conveyed them in I assume a reasonable manner-- but my fault is that I do respond to emergency situations like I am still a salaried employee.

I stick to my limits about not working when it is not essential job function and I take flex time for some of my outside hours. I just do not like the complaining and insulting comments -- I am documenting them. I just need to hang on until I can find another opportunity....
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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Good for you! My wife doesn't work as a Navy contractor anymore, she spent most of her career in HR which is why I couldn't believe she put up with the crap she did. She has a pretty strong personality and still let them run her over. Stick to you guns Andrea.

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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We have a strict unwritten rule that you don't bother someone on their off time for work related issues. Off time is for family, relaxation, or brewing beer. If you are hourly, they should not be bothering you on your off time.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:21 PM   #10
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My wife gets called several times/day on her days off with questions on how to do something, procedural issues, and to help out with things that other employees are too lazy to figure out. her solution was to ignore the phone calls, texts and emails.

She finally confronted her boss about the problem and said that if she was that needed on her days off, to put her on the schedule for those days and pay her to come in, otherwise F-off and stop the calling.


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