My son works for an employer that’s based on the Eastern Shore. This employer group commutes its workers in the mornings over to Hampton Roads. They’re not paid by the hour while they travel but are given a per diem for their three-hour travel time, which is far less than their hourly wages. The employer has several crews scattered throughout the area. Some finish their assignments before others and they have to come back to the employer’s local shop and sit around and wait for the others to complete their tasks before they can all head back to the Eastern Shore. They are instructed to clock out when they get back to the local shop, so they receive no pay while they wait for the others to finish. Sometimes this wait can be up to three to four hours. And the way they’re assigned to work sites, it’s impossible for those who finish up early to go and help the slower crews. My son and his co-workers have tried talking to the boss to make some changes, but they got nowhere. Somehow, this just seems unfair. What is your take on this? I feel it is an unjust labor practice.
Unfair and unjust on the Shore
Dear Unfair and unjust on the Shore:
I completely understand your frustration with your son’s work situation. His employer’s set-up is not fair, but, unfortunately, it is not illegal. It does sound like your son and his co-workers are being penalized for getting their work done ahead of their co-workers and the employer is taking advantage of them, knowing they need the work. I am impressed with his and his co-workers’ efforts to get the boss to make some changes. I realize your son spends a significant amount of time at work, but I suggest he look for other jobs when he can and to let everyone in his network know he is interested in changing jobs without jeopardizing the one he has. And of course, I strongly recommend he not leave his current job until he has secured a new one. I wish him the best of luck!
My department head has decided she’s going to replace a guy on one of my project teams with a new employee that’s coming to work for our company next month. She’s doing this simply because she doesn’t like the guy she wants to replace. This is so maddening and unnerving because we’ve been working on this project close to two years and we’re so close to finishing it. To lose this guy who is an integral member of our team makes no sense whatsoever. Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me that my boss would do something like this, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with either. As she has done on more than one occasion, she’s letting her personal feelings get in the way of making smart, logical decisions. I seriously doubt there’s any chance of talking some sense into her. Help!
Mad and unnerved
Dear Mad and unnerved:
I can understand why you think it would not do any good to talk to your boss about this situation, but I have to suggest that you along with the other members of your team (There is power in numbers!) meet with her. Respectfully and calmly explain why the person she wants to replace is critical to the team team. If she refuses to listen to reason, then take the matter to her immediate supervisor. You will be able to tell this person that all of you tried to handle the situation before coming to him/her for assistance. Good luck!
© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell