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Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-24-2006, 10:17 PM   #1
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Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Last night's episode was a repeat - sorry if this has already been discussed on the forum

Anyways one of the topics was America's "obsession" with work and how people are putting in 60+ hours per week or more at their jobs. I too was at one of these employers for about a year and a half and quit without having another job lined up. I am now making the same amount of money at a company that values work/life balance and I never work more than a 40 hour work week.

I guess my question is do these people realize they are wasting their lives at work? If they are so valuable at their current employer then why not leave? I suppose the answer is that most employers now expect this from their drones....urrrr employees. There is allegedly a labor shortage with the boomers approaching retirement so does anyone envision a huge backlash by employees demanding better working conditions? If this future labor shortage is in fact true, then employees will refuse to work for companies that demand this kind of schedule. I guess only time will tell but sadly I think most people will continue to be tied to their Blackberrys and be happy with their 3 weeks vacation for working 3000 hours a year.....
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-24-2006, 10:59 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

You have the power, dude. Today, if you take it.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 06:44 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

When I was working as a self-employed programmer/contractor/consultant, I had a "boss" (a client really) at a mega-financial services company that everyone disliked...(I got along fine with him but I think it was because he knew he needed me more than I needed him)...but anyway, he used to push his staff to work long, long days even when it wasn't necessary, and one time in private bragged/joked to me how "Last week my staff averaged over 90 hours each"...we are talking getting there by 6-6:30, working to 11-12PM and then coming in for a regular 8 hour day on the weekends....to his credit he at least put in the same hours himself (i.e. he didn't make his staff do what he wouldn't).

Of course they were all on salary so it was killng them; I was billing by the hour so it made no difference to me Especially when I was working from home the whole time - I could still have some semblance of a life and put in that time...


He was probably the smartest and most driven guy I ever knew, but not sure he ever will achieve a balance in his life - last I heard he moved out of his house and was living in an apartment close to work.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
When I was working as a self-employed programmer/contractor/consultant, I had a "boss" (a client really) at a mega-financial services company that everyone disliked...(I got along fine with him but I think it was because he knew he needed me more than I needed him)...but anyway, he used to push his staff to work long, long days even when it wasn't necessary, and one time in private bragged/joked to me how "Last week my staff averaged over 90 hours each"...we are talking getting there by 6-6:30, working to 11-12PM and then coming in for a regular 8 hour day on the weekends....to his credit he at least put in the same hours himself (i.e. he didn't make his staff do what he wouldn't).

Of course they were all on salary so it was killng them; I was billing by the hour so it made no difference to me* Especially when I was working from home the whole time - I could still have some semblance of a life and put in that time...


He was probably the smartest and most driven guy I ever knew, but not sure he ever will achieve a balance in his life - last I heard he moved out of his house and was living in an apartment close to work.
That is a sad story. Their salaries must have been darn good to put up with that.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

I am the only division chief in my organization who openly does not care what time my doctors work except, of course, when they are on a rotation with built-in time expectations (e.g. urgent care shift opens for patients at 8 am). They work hard, to be sure, but otherwise if their work is done and coverage is in place they leave when they leave. Same with morning arrival time. Most are young with kids and they truly appreciate the flexibility.

Basically rely on their professionalism to do the right thing and rarely have I been disappointed. It's not just about the total hours you put in, but about a certain reasonableness about not clock-watching, expecting professional behavior, etc.

Side benefits for me: easier recruiting and retention, volunteerism is high for covering for a colleague with an unexpected need, they say they like me (at least to my face ), and, yes, good productivity.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 08:11 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

I can remember when I clerked for a large Twin City law firm while I was in law school. I was awestruck by the huge grandfather clock in the reception area and the marble topped conference table that was big enough to land some small planes on it. The rest rooms for the firm were on each side of a huge kitchen area which had a full sized stove and refrigerator. There were cots in the rest rooms, several showers, materials to shine your shoes and new toothbrushes and toothpaste containers. Every morning there were piles of fresh Danish in the kitchen. My first reaction was, "Wow, they thought of everything!" Not quite. They forgot to hang the sign that said "Home Sweet Home." Fortunately, I didn't stay there after I graduated.

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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 08:22 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

I once worked for an idiot boss who thought just being at work for 12 hrs/day meant getting something accomplished. *He in fact spent his time drawing maps for grown men giving them step by step directions on how to install plumbing connections instead of showing leadership. *

He wanted people to be around when he was around and he wanted the same people around when he wasn't around.

Sorry if I sound bitter but it was a good learning experience to help me find what I wanted in life and a job.

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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 09:41 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

When I was hired at my last job, I was told to expect to put in 44 to 45 hours a week even though I was an exempt employee.

I got a letter recently from a group of attorneys that are handling a lawsuit against my former employer related to illegal overtime. Apparently they're trying to add plaintiffs.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 11:06 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Rich - I used the same approach with my reports. "We're all supposed to be adults here. I dont care when you're here, when you come or go, or much of anything else as long as you're where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, your work gets done, and people can reach you if they have important questions. Dont call me and pretend to be sick if you need a mental health day. If somethings screwed up with your life, take the time and fix it and get back to work with a clear mind. Dont screw around with the privilege.".

Very very rarely had anyone try to take advantage of the situation. If anything they erred on the side of responsibility. Perhaps taking the fun out of putting one by the manager did the trick.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 11:15 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB
When I was hired at my last job, I was told to expect to put in 44 to 45 hours a week even though I was an exempt employee.

I got a letter recently from a group of attorneys that are handling a lawsuit against my former employer related to illegal overtime. Apparently they're trying to add plaintiffs.
Wait a sec, is this grounds for a suit? After I was hired, I asked how many hours per week they expected people in my position to work, and I was told 42-43. However, the offer letter clearly stated "40 per week", so I just assumed the 42-43 was incorrect, since usually the written stuff governs in a contract.

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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 11:35 AM   #11
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB
When I was hired at my last job, I was told to expect to put in 44 to 45 hours a week even though I was an exempt employee.*

I got a letter recently from a group of attorneys that are handling a lawsuit against my former employer related to illegal overtime.* Apparently they're trying to add plaintiffs.
Exempt means you are exempt from being paid for overtime. You get paid to do a job and not how many hours it takes to get it done. Being exempt also means you can get in late and leave early without being docked for the hours (most places anyway).

I don't see the grounds for a lawsuit unless it was way way out of line.....like being forced to come in on weekends to pick up trash in the parking lots or to useless meetings on Sunday afternoons.. or working every Saturday for months after already working 5 12 hour days...etc. (personal experiences). That was 30 years ago and I doubt it would be tolerated today.

I have not seen a 40 hour week in decades.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 11:42 AM   #12
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB
I got a letter recently from a group of attorneys that are handling a lawsuit against my former employer related to illegal overtime. Apparently they're trying to add plaintiffs.
Was it from these guys?

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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 11:45 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
When I was working as a self-employed programmer/contractor/consultant, I had a "boss" (a client really) at a mega-financial services company that everyone disliked...(I got along fine with him but I think it was because he knew he needed me more than I needed him)...but anyway, he used to push his staff to work long, long days even when it wasn't necessary, and one time in private bragged/joked to me how "Last week my staff averaged over 90 hours each"...we are talking getting there by 6-6:30, working to 11-12PM and then coming in for a regular 8 hour day on the weekends....to his credit he at least put in the same hours himself (i.e. he didn't make his staff do what he wouldn't).
/quote]

I think would have put up with that crap for about two weeks. I'll work hard and do great things for my employer when I m treated well, but life is too short and there are too many would-be purchasers of my time to put up with stuff like that. I'm an employee, not a slave.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 11:48 AM   #14
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

This is absolutely illeagal, I can speak from first hand knowledge! *My previous employer made us all exempt and then told us in writing 44 hour work weeks were mandatory. *We did it for two years and then the class action started. *We each got about $5,000 in compensation once the taxes were paid out of it. *Big no-no.

The problem is proving it was truly mandatory. My company was stupid enough to put it in writing, and they are a huge company, which equals fat payoff for the attorneys.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 12:12 PM   #15
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Employment law is a complex area with State and Federal statutes often having different standards. The litigation over insurance adjusters is a prime example. That is why a good employment lawyer earns their pay.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 12:21 PM   #16
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
This is absolutely illeagal, I can speak from first hand knowledge! My previous employer made us all exempt and then told us in writing 44 hour work weeks were mandatory. We did it for two years and then the class action started. We each got about $5,000 in compensation once the taxes were paid out of it. Big no-no.

The problem is proving it was truly mandatory. My company was stupid enough to put it in writing, and they are a huge company, which equals fat payoff for the attorneys.
The poster who explained that "exempt" means they can work you overtime without overtime pay was correct. "Exempt" means exempt from overtime coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. You probably meant you were "non-exempt." The other alternative is that your employer labeled you exempt but the work you do does not really fit the exempt catagory. In that case the lawyers are making a pitch that you were improperly classified.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 12:57 PM   #17
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

True for management, executive and professional employees but some states have their own defn which is also applicable.* Fail oneand ot applies under the applicable statute.

Within the FLSA there are other exemptions which could also be used such as that which applies to people driving/loading a motor vehicle transporting goods in commerce.* If you haul materials destined to another state 13(b)(1), bingo no ot [unless you are covered and non-exempt under state law].
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 01:39 PM   #18
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
The poster who explained that "exempt" means they can work you overtime without overtime pay was correct.* "Exempt" means exempt from overtime coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act.* You probably meant you were "non-exempt."* The other alternative is that your employer labeled you exempt but the work you do does not really fit the exempt catagory.* *In that case the lawyers are making a pitch that you were improperly classified.
No, we were all exempt, the argument was explained to me that while as exempt employees we could be expected to do unpaid overtime to meet needs, they could not mandate unpaid overtime in the way they did. I don't speak legaleze, but I am not confused as to my exempt/non exempt status. There were very specific requirements to participate in the class action, and you had to be salary grades between x-y, which were all exempt positions. Hourly employees were excluded from the lawsuit because they were paid for their overtime (and consequently didn't get much of it).
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 01:58 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
No, we were all exempt, the argument was explained to me that while as exempt employees we could be expected to do unpaid overtime to meet needs, they could not mandate unpaid overtime in the way they did.
Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware that employers are not free to abuse direct exempt workers at will. Maybe it would have been OK if the stippulated the time requirement in your hiring contract.
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?
Old 07-25-2006, 02:11 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone see the 60 minutes on work last night?

Sorry I don't have better details, now I'm curious as to where they actually crossed the line.
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