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Old 11-20-2013, 02:04 PM
 
6,270 posts, read 9,982,098 times
Reputation: 4723

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I have an employment issue. Here's the deal. I've been with this new employer for only 6 months now. Everything has been going great so far. However, I've realized that this particular employer has meetings almost every month. I've missed the first 3 meetings and have been warned not to miss anymore or it could cost me my job. No problem; I started attending them. However, these meetings are outside of my normal work schedule on my days off, and (here's the kicker) they don't compensate employees for these required meetings.

Now, to my understanding, it is illegal to require job related meetings in North Carolina without paying the employees. Also, some of these meetings take place 30 miles outside of Charlotte and employees are required to drive their own personal vehicles to the meeting without mileage compensation (no hourly pay either). My employer attempts to "skirt" around the law by giving out "gifts" and meals during these meetings. I've brought my concerns up to my immediate supervisor and I was flat-out warned that I was "opening up a can of worms" by even questioning the lack of compensation. He was even kinda rude and condescending about the issue as well.

The lack of compensation wasn't that big of a deal to me, but my manager's attitude about my inquiry certainly made things worse. So here's my question. Considering the fact that I'd probably receive a reduction of hours and less favorable assignments from here on-out, what would y'all do if you were in my shoes? I'm already looking for another job, so there's that. However, is there a possibility of saving this one (or is it even worth saving)? Calling them out on their non-paid required meetings really ticked them off; more-so than I ever thought it would've. Sometimes I really wish NC had more labor unions. Unions are not a panacea, but they would certainly help. For what it's worth, the following is a quote from NC's Department of Labor on this issue...

Quote:
The time an employee spends in meetings, training, attending a class or course, or attending a workshop may or may not be hours worked based on the circumstances and under certain conditions. Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs, and similar activities must be counted as work time unless all four of the following criteria are met: (1) it occurs outside normal scheduled hours of work; (2) it is completely voluntary; (3) it is not job-related (unless the employee attends an independent school or college on his/her own initiative outside work hours); and, (4) no other work is performed during the period.
http://www.nclabor.com/wh/fact%20she...s_training.htm

^^^My meetings are NOT voluntary. However, they are not counted as work time (thus, no pay).... How is that possible?


Last edited by urbancharlotte; 11-20-2013 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:21 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 20,249,699 times
Reputation: 6774
The NC Employment Commission ( I think that's what it's called) can answer your questions and look into the issue without exposing you. But since you've mentioned it to a superior, your name may very well come up.

Outside of the rules, I've always looked at concerns like yours as if they are a cost of doing business. If they got out of hand, I made a point of them. For the most part I received perks that more than made up for lost time and mileage here and there. But I was in sales for much of my career, and I'm still realizing that salespeople have just about no rights whatsoever. You need to decide what that's worth to you.

I had friend who complained if she worked more than a couple minutes past 5, or if her work ate into her lunch break, etc. Every tiny infraction was nearly a reason to file a grievance for her. She never considered what the yearly week at the beach for her entire family cost her employer, beyond her usual vacations. She was inflexible on her end, but expected the boss to not notice her long lunches, coming in late, freebie perks, etc. Notice I said "had" a friend.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:01 PM
 
6,270 posts, read 9,982,098 times
Reputation: 4723
Yeah, there is a cost of doing business for sure. I'm certainly not opposed to doing free things for a good employer. However, I work 6pm-3am Friday-Tuesday. That's 45 hours a week of crappy over-night hours with only 2 evenings per week to do things with my family. I got home from work around 4 this morning, and now I have a meeting this evening out in BFE on one of my days off. I had planned on going to tonight's Bobcats game with the family on my day off, but instead I must attend this required meeting that pays me nothing (and meetings like this take place every month, sometimes twice in a month).

These meetings are usually 2-3 hours long and my average salary is around $25/hr. Due to the income, I haven't really made much of an issue about the meetings. On the other hand, 1-2 of these meetings per month over the span of a year adds up to nearly 40 hours per year with no pay (or $1,000 worth of hourly pay). Over the span of a decade, we're talking $10,000 or 400 hours without pay.

I guess what really got me upset was my manager's remarks when I inquired (in a nice-friendly tone) about the lack of compensation for these required meetings (some of them out of town at that). I've just never been in such an employment situation before, so this is new to me. All of my past employers paid employees for required meetings and required training. Lesson learned the hard way I guess; the grass ain't always greener.... Oh well, I guess I'll just suck-it-up and deal with it.......Until something "better" comes along.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Charlotte NC
11,712 posts, read 9,326,899 times
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Good luck Urban... this sounds like a situation where you have to play ball until you find something else.
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:05 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,955,524 times
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I think you are right - this is a suck-it-up situation. I would be looking for another job, meanwhile.

I am very curious, however, what types of meetings are required monthly - with everyone in attendance - other than training/education. Are they just rah-rah morale type stuff or what? Surely everyone else sees them as interruptive, too. I think in your case, having to do this on your days off makes it 10 x worse.

You need to keep track of your mileage and any other expenses you incur to attend these meetings, as I think the mileage and any specific expenses would be tax deductible. Do check that out.

For everyone else's sake, once you get a new job, you might consider reporting this situation to the state Labor Board.
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:06 PM
 
1,547 posts, read 2,167,350 times
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Check with the NCESC on how long you need to work in order to be eligible for Unemployment Benefits. If you are eligible, get fired from that crappy job and collect unemployment! Document all of your extra days, travel distance and hours worked without pay or compensation. You may need this later. Get fired the smart way. Look for a better job when you are released from hell!
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:20 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 20,249,699 times
Reputation: 6774
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
Yeah, there is a cost of doing business for sure. I'm certainly not opposed to doing free things for a good employer. However, I work 6pm-3am Friday-Tuesday. That's 45 hours a week of crappy over-night hours with only 2 evenings per week to do things with my family. I got home from work around 4 this morning, and now I have a meeting this evening out in BFE on one of my days off. I had planned on going to tonight's Bobcats game with the family on my day off, but instead I must attend this required meeting that pays me nothing (and meetings like this take place every month, sometimes twice in a month).

These meetings are usually 2-3 hours long and my average salary is around $25/hr. Due to the income, I haven't really made much of an issue about the meetings. On the other hand, 1-2 of these meetings per month over the span of a year adds up to nearly 40 hours per year with no pay (or $1,000 worth of hourly pay). Over the span of a decade, we're talking $10,000 or 400 hours without pay.

I guess what really got me upset was my manager's remarks when I inquired (in a nice-friendly tone) about the lack of compensation for these required meetings (some of them out of town at that). I've just never been in such an employment situation before, so this is new to me. All of my past employers paid employees for required meetings and required training. Lesson learned the hard way I guess; the grass ain't always greener.... Oh well, I guess I'll just suck-it-up and deal with it.......Until something "better" comes along.
No one likes to have their concerns trivialized. I certainly understand why that bothers you.

How much notice are you given for these meetings? Is it enough to tell your boss something like "I'm sorry, but I've had Bobcats tickets for weeks, and my family and I are going to the game that night since it is my day off"? Maybe subtlety will get your point across. I've heard about that.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:56 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,836 posts, read 27,084,640 times
Reputation: 8898
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
I have an employment issue. Here's the deal. I've been with this new employer for only 6 months now. Everything has been going great so far. However, I've realized that this particular employer has meetings almost every month. I've missed the first 3 meetings and have been warned not to miss anymore or it could cost me my job. No problem; I started attending them. However, these meetings are outside of my normal work schedule on my days off, and (here's the kicker) they don't compensate employees for these required meetings.

Now, to my understanding, it is illegal to require job related meetings in North Carolina without paying the employees. Also, some of these meetings take place 30 miles outside of Charlotte and employees are required to drive their own personal vehicles to the meeting without mileage compensation (no hourly pay either). My employer attempts to "skirt" around the law by giving out "gifts" and meals during these meetings. I've brought my concerns up to my immediate supervisor and I was flat-out warned that I was "opening up a can of worms" by even questioning the lack of compensation. He was even kinda rude and condescending about the issue as well.

The lack of compensation wasn't that big of a deal to me, but my manager's attitude about my inquiry certainly made things worse. So here's my question. Considering the fact that I'd probably receive a reduction of hours and less favorable assignments from here on-out, what would y'all do if you were in my shoes? I'm already looking for another job, so there's that. However, is there a possibility of saving this one (or is it even worth saving)? Calling them out on their non-paid required meetings really ticked them off; more-so than I ever thought it would've. Sometimes I really wish NC had more labor unions. Unions are not a panacea, but they would certainly help. For what it's worth, the following is a quote from NC's Department of Labor on this issue...

Quote:
The time an employee spends in meetings, training, attending a class or course, or attending a workshop may or may not be hours worked based on the circumstances and under certain conditions. Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs, and similar activities must be counted as work time unless all four of the following criteria are met: (1) it occurs outside normal scheduled hours of work; (2) it is completely voluntary; (3) it is not job-related (unless the employee attends an independent school or college on his/her own initiative outside work hours); and, (4) no other work is performed during the period.
http://www.nclabor.com/wh/fact%20she...s_training.htm

^^^My meetings are NOT voluntary. However, they are not counted as work time (thus, no pay).... How is that possible?

In the future, never bring up an illegality at work. Call the Labor board.

I think that Quick Trip hires their own drivers.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:06 PM
 
6,270 posts, read 9,982,098 times
Reputation: 4723
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
In the future, never bring up an illegality at work. Call the Labor board.

I think that Quick Trip hires their own drivers.
I heard the same, thanks for the tip!!!
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,836 posts, read 27,084,640 times
Reputation: 8898
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
I heard the same, thanks for the tip!!!
You're welcome. For what it's worth, there are a couple of trucking companies in Kings Mountain, but I don't have details. I'd check Quick Trip first. Good luck getting something quickly.
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