Things you shouldn’t have to celebrate

I really like my job. I’m pretty damn good at it, I get paid a reasonable salary, and my coworkers are usually tolerable and occasionally genuinely quite likable, and the work varies from tolerable to genuinely challenging and satisfying. Oh, and free lunch which is frequently edible!

It has a few really obnoxious elements, though, and that’s part of why I made this blog. I want to be able to talk about them, without fear of retaliation. Usually this is in the nature of ‘Coworkers who have really horrible opinions that I wish I didn’t know they held’.

Sometimes it’s just really questionable shit that I don’t understand why we do as a company given the dubious ethical nature of the decisions and the lack of any logical reason for doing so.

Employees who are hourly-wage contractors for personnel agencies working a few months on a probationary basis before we hire them on permanently, being told not to put a mandatory department meeting that occurs outside their regular shift and in excess of their scheduled 40 hours being a great example.

Well, I get to celebrate that no longer being the case. They are, finally, being allowed to leave a little early one day within a few days of the meeting so they only work 40 hours.

Previously they were told, when asked how to handle it on their time sheets, not to put it on them, that it’s kind of a show of dedication thing. This both by our department head and occasionally by their liaison at the personnel agency.

It took more than a year and the entire department, including supervisors, everyone but the department head, thinking it was ridiculous (let them go home early. Pay 2 hours of overtime a month. Pick one!) and knowing it was a violation of Fair Labor Standards Act (yeah, half the department ended up researching that after a fiasco involving sick days that ended up getting reversed by HR two weeks later.), but it’s no longer the case.

I’d liked to have suggested to every new contract employee for the last year or so that they should ask about the issue with their personnel agency liaison in written form, and I’d liked to have informed them that it isn’t legal for their employer to require them to do that, and that they can file a complaint with the Department of Labor about it to address the issue if they don’t get the problem resolved. I’d like to have done those things. But I can’t.



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