Timekeeping by Email

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time cards by mail:

My supervisor has decided in order to make things easier for him, he is now requiring we email him when we get in in the morning, email him for lunch out, lunch in and when leaving for the day. He will then use the time stamp from the email to complete our timecards for us. Is this something that is industry standard?

Signed, Busy writing!

Dear Busy writing!:

Sending emails to keep track of time is not a standard practice, although I know of many places that do it that way. But, there really is no standard method. Not every place uses a time clock either.I work with one company where everyone has to report directly to a supervisor upon arriving and when leaving. It was not a supervisory decision–just as the one at your work is probably not solely the decision of the supervisor.In the case of the business I’m referring to, it’s a real hassle for the supervisor, who must be in his office steadily, and comes early to ensure he is there for the first employee. But, it was the only way to ensure honesty, since some employees were clocking out for others, and taking turns arriving late or going home early! All the asking, pleading, urging and threatening, and even firing some employees, didn’t help. So, they started this current method.

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Not Paid For What I’m Doing

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Overworked and Underpaid:

Dear Workplace Doctors,I have a job that I love at a company I respect and find exciting. I have great benefits and have been given stock options, leaving is not really an option. The problem is that I was hired for a particular job at a particular price and now I am doing much more than I was hired to do with no increase in pay. Here are details to try to assess the situation better.

*I’ve been at the company only 16 weeks.
*At my 60 day review I was basically promoted without a new title and offered stock options. Rather than get a new title or make it known to my coworkers that I had new responsibilities, I now straddle the old job as well as the new and have taken on a defacto management and administrative position without actually getting to have any sort of authority over the people whose quality of work I am expected to improve.
*The company is a start-up and we just started selling our product (three months earlier than anticipated and a lot of that has to do with work that I have done) so I know that we don’t have a lot of money floating around… yet.*Our fiscal year begins on Jan. 1st, thus making factoring in a raise for me a pretty time sensitive issue.
*I consistently stay 1-2 hours late every day and do some work from home on weekends.
*According to salary calculators for my area, I am being paid 50% less than the bottom 10% of people in my position and with my education. Will I be out of line to request a future raise this early on? I am sure that I will be told the money isn’t available, yet, but I want to make sure that when it is that I am getting paid what I’m worth. I absolutely do not want to quit this job because I love it and am so proud of what we do, so threatening to leave or looking for a new job isn’t something I will do.Thanks, 200% effort, 50% pay

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Free Gifts Only To Selected Employees

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about perks for some and not others:

The company I work for has a corporate account with a credit card which offers membership rewards to the cardholder. The cardholder earns points every time they use the corporate card and in turn can use the points they earn towards receiving free items for their personal use. My question is, is it legal for a company to allow only the cardholders to benefit from these free gifts while others, who are not cardholders, do not have this benefit?

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Salary Increase???

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss procrastination of promotion and raise.  

I am in a odd situation. I’ve worked with this company for over 9 yrs. and my evaluations have been satisfactory.  My problem, is that boss is VP of HR and she has been procrastinating. I was due for a salary change in July, 07. From last year’s evaluation, I was also due to a change of title, from HR Assistant to Benefit Coordinator for this year, since my role has grown to include retirement benefit work.

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Medical Leave Questions

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an employer’s request for an employee’s medical information:

Please tell me as an employer what kind of questions can I ask the doctor about an employee’s medical leave of absence?

Signed, Wanting To Do The Right Thing

Dear Wanting To Do The Right Thing:

Our site focuses primarily on workplace communication issues, rather than issues related to personnel law and HR practices. I will mention a few resources for the legal aspect, and close with a few thoughts about the communication part of it.
*If you have an organization with a Human Resources section or personnel section, you may find assistance there. Apparently you are not a large business, or you would have already had that assistance.
*A good HR site on the internet is www.hr.com.
*If your employee comes under the Family Medical Leave Act, the government site that covers that will be useful.
*If your employee was injured on the job your state’s Department of Labor would be your best resource.I

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Returning To Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about absence due to illness:

The other day my boss noticed I might have pink eye so to protect others he asked me to go home early. I said OK. Then, 2 days later upon returning I was told I could not return without a doctor’s note saying I was OK. I understand this is common with workers comp claims but what about just general illness like colds etc.?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

Requirements for a doctor’s approval to return to work varies between jobs, because of the type of work being done. In your case, the requirement for a doctor’s approval is related to the contagious nature of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis). We are not a medical site and cannot give medical advice. But, it is not difficult to research and find out that the viral type of Conjunctivitis is highly contagious.

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No Comp Time Allowed

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about exempt classification:

I work for a social service agency and do not know if I would be considered exempt. Our official company policy is that employees can accrue comp time, record it on their time sheets and take the time, as the company does not pay overtime. However, my office or branch has now instituted a policy that no comp time can be recorded on our time sheet and thus cannot be taken. Instead, the time worked overtime can be taken by coming in late one day or leaving early. We are very confused about this policy. If we take that time, then our supervisors can simply accuse us of cheating on time, as we have no record that we accrued overtime hours (which used to be on the time sheet). If we are not exempt, are working overtime, and are not paid overtime rates, are we not entitled to comp time? In addition, when we work through lunch (eating at our desk or in five minutes) as we have deadlines to meet or lunchtime meetings, we are not allowed to put this time down as comp time either. We essentially lose this time. Please advise.in

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Can Your Boss Control Your Vacation Time?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about vacation time:

I recently found out that a co-worker was told that she couldn’t take any vacation days until September of this year because of the intense workload our department is under. Is this a violation of her civil liberties? Can a boss dictate how and when you can take your vacation.

Signed, Wondering About Vacations

Dear Wondering About Vacations:

Vacations and time off are certainly benefits we all want and use, but they are benefits–not legally regulated issues in most states, and not even a requirement for employers in most cases. Your state may have such regulations, and you can find that out by checking with your state’s department of labor. If you are unionized there may be contractual issues involved. However, even in states that govern time off in some organizations (usually in state government offices) it is understood that vacations may be cancelled as needed, or scheduled in a way that best supports work.In your situation, if you and your co-worker work in one unit within a larger organization, consider contacting your HR office to see if your boss’s requirements are only his own, or if they reflect the requirements of the larger organization.

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My Boss Helps Her Best Friend Cheat The Company.

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about payroll cheating: I am beside myself thinking at the end of a year she has made 25k in OT by stealing.

My boss is in charge of the payroll department. Her best friend works in our department. They cheat the company on the clock, for overtime. Her best friend makes 31.50 per hr on OT. She is getting 20-40 hrs OT per 2 week pay period. They clock her in at 6am (2hr) before everyone gets there. They go to lunch and she doesn’t clock out.

They leave for an hour to and hour & half. Several girls in the office can verify they go to lunch daily. What do I do? To my boss’s friend I have mentioned that I feel lying about clocking in/out is stealing from company. This is especially a problem, since there was a girl doing that and the boss and her friend confronted the girl and docked her pay for almost 10 hours that pay period. The friend has no official authority. But the President,Vice President, and CEO, all love the friend and think she is great! I am beside myself thinking at the end of a year she has made 25k in OT by stealing.

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I’m Expecting-Will I Be Fired?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about pregnancy and job:

Hi, I work at a very small nonprofit arts organization. I just learned I’m four weeks pregnant and I told my coworkers and my boss. My boss seemed happy for me, as she knew I was trying to get pregnant. I asked her if I could cut my work hours down from four days to three, as I did not know how I would be feeling, and she didn’t seem to have a problem with it. I asked her if there have been any other pregnant employees in the past and she told me I was the second one in 35 years. She said the previous employee left after she became pregnant. I also asked my boss if there was any policy in place pertaining to pregnancy and she said no, it’s just a matter of seeing how things go.

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