This is just *so* unfair.

Ok, looks like it's my turn to rant.

As some of you may know, lately I've been covering my colleague's shifts, even if this means working 12 hours a day, because she's very sick and I know she would do the same for me. I was hoping to have my extra work paid in June's paycheck, so today I asked my accountant about it.

It turned out they're not going to pay my overtime. Even better, they told me they can pay my overtime only taking the money out of my colleague's paycheck. The poor thing isn't even allowed to be sick without someone taking the hours she wasn't able to work off her paycheck.

I feel this is an emotional blackmail. I worked the hours, and I feel I should be paid for my work. On the other side, I don't feel like stripping my colleague of her money - darn it, it's not her fault she's sick!

What's more, the accountant also told me that, because he's going on holiday the whole July and August, he won't be able to pay our paychecks till September. This leaves me with bills and rent to pay from now until September, and no paycheck. What am I supposed to do, tell my landlord to wait till September?!

When things like this happen, I think I should just leave and find another job. Thing is, I really love my actual job. I love it so much I don't care how many shifts I work.

The lack of money is really getting at me. I find myself looking for the cheapest item at the supermarket and feeling guilty every time I buy something that is not strictly necessary. I even feel like I should stop swapping on CO+K, because of the postage fees.

Thing is, I'm not drowning yet: I still have a few bucks in my account that should pull me through next month, and should I ever be in dire need I could always ask my parents or a friend to borrow some money and give it back in September. I just don't really want to do it. My BF is offering to pay for us to go on holiday in August, but I'd rather not go on holiday than make him pay for me. I've always thought that, if you can't afford to do something, you shouldn't do it. Period.

I really, really, really don't feel this is fair. I shred myself to pieces for this job and they're always late with payments, almost like we don't need the money. And when you're telling them you really need to get paid, they look at you like you're a greedy b*tch.

Ouff, thanks guys. Just venting helped me a lot. I just wish money wasn't such a big deal. If I could live without money, I'd do it.

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10 replies since 28th June 2011 • Last reply 28th June 2011

*HUG*
It sure is not right how they manage the situation. Does this guy think that he can do 2 months without money!? Probably not, but as long as he can sit on his butt on a fine holiday he thinks it's allright :-@ Weirdo!

And Mary. I personally think it's better to borrow some money from your parents then get stuck with bills and so on. I'm sure they will understand that it's not you faulth.

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That sounds kinda illegal, at least in Canada. Do you know your rights regarding overpay and skipped pay? I would suggest contacting/locating a (likely) government agency to make sure they can do that.
It's good that you love you job but you still need to survive. Is there similar jobs that you might be able to do else where?

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I don't know how the regulation of overtime work is on your country... but as a future lawyer I can tell you that it sounds very illegal.
I have read legislation of other countries before... and if you are working more hours than the maximum permitted in your countries law, the HAVE to pay them. Specially if you are working instead of your sick colleague. In fact, it's not your responsibility to take her shift, so they have to pay you.
The other thing is that even though the accountant is leaving for vacations, he can't leave all the other employees that stay working without their paycheck.

I would really recommend you to try and solve this problem with your employer, or file a complaint in whatever organization you have in Italy that protects the workers rights.


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I'm with Sweet C
Mary-I would suggest getting hold of those that fund your organization and clarifying that this is appropriate behavior.
I'm sure you must have a contract and you need to clarify that the organization is behaving within the boundaries of your contract.
You may need to bring this to the attention of others in the organization.
Document the accountant's behavior and get help to come to a solution.
Your clients value your skills and you are an asset to the organisation but your health and well-being are important.
Thinking of you -glad you had a place to share

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I'm going to give you the same advice I gave my parents when a gas well company refused to pay them for 3 months so they could "reevaluate how much they should be paying people" and take $500 out of each gas well owner's next check.

File a lawsuit. Just because some a-hole is taking 2 months off shouldn't mean you go without pay for those 2 months. See how he'd like it if he were in your position. People who do things like that always think they're higher than anyone else. Bringing the higher-ups to court about it would knock them all down a peg.

If you want to avoid legal mumbo jumbo, talk to the people who are higher up than the accountant. If they know you're a good employee and you're miffed, they have two choices: pay you or risk losing you.

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This is illegal and you have rights to your pay check. Furthermore, in most businesses (unless you are salary) if you don't work you don't get paid. That being said, I wouldn't feel bad for taking the money you earned. I would not let them bully you into thinking you don’t deserve to be paid.

I suggest contacting your Human Resources department if you have one. If not, I am sure that Italy has a government agency like America does that protects worker’s rights that you can contact. (Here in America they cannot fire you if you contact them) and it should be the same in Italy.

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that dosent sound right that your accountant is holding your check because he is leaving its not that hard to pay you before he leaves. and sadley thats how most jobs are these days, i'd deff let him know the world dosen't revolve around him. I feel bad for your friend too, its ridiculous how no jobs are wanting to give paid sick leave, its not like your working fast food. Borrow from your parents I mean it makes you feel horrible but maybe you can pay them back and a lil extra like take them out to eat. Happy

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{{{Hugs}}} This is horrible. I can't believe that something like this is acceptable in any business in any European country! It is shocking really. I hope you will start looking for other employment and find an agency or free legal assistance, who can help you sort this out. You aren't a teenager mowing lawns or babysitting, saving up to buy an iPod. You are an adult who needs to keep a roof over your head. This is insane and infuriating.

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Thank you so much guys, this means a lot to me, seeying that you care, and thank you so much for all your precious advice. I thought I'd keep you posted on what's going on.

I had a look at my contract with my colleague - over the phone, the poor thing is still in bed, but is feeling much better and should be able to get back to work tomorrow. We knew we had what it's called a linked part-time: between the two of us we have to cover the 40 hours a week of a regular contract, and our salary is split evenly between the two of us.

Unluckily it turns out that our contract doesn't cover paid sick leave: we have to guarantee 40 hours a week, no matter what. Of course, the person working more hours will be paid more, but this simply means that the other person will be paid less. So they're right, the only way they have to pay my overtime (which is overtime for me, but still within the 40 hours) is taking money off my colleague's salary. Drat. The way we solved this is: we keep the salary even, I don't get paid for the shifts I covered for her, and later on she'll cover the same amount of hours for me, giving me the chance to stay at home and being paid anyway. Which sounds like a fair solution to me, especially as the holidays are approaching and I get more time to spend with my BF and family.

What's even more unfortunate is that our contract doesn't specify that our salary has to be paid monthly. It simply states that we have to be paid a certain amount of money for every 30 days of work - but it doesn't state clearly that payments have to be monthly. The way it's written, as far as they pay us all what they owe us, they could pay us every other month, or everything in advance, or everything at the end. The only thing that matters is that the amount of money is right. The accountant is leaving on Friday, so there's no time left to convince him to pay us in advance. I can't describe on how many levels this sucks.

The only thing we found in our favour is that I actually worked a few hours of *actual* overtime, which means, exceeding the 40 hours a week. For example, last Tuesday and Wednesday I worked 12 hours a day (8 hours overtime) and on Thursday I even reached 15 hours because we had a big event in the evening and I finished at 11.30 pm (other 7 hours overtime). This afternoon I'm trying to deal with this and convince the accountant to pay me at least this overtime before going away. I'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

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Glad to know you could kind of find a solution! Specially if your friend is willing to work extra while you have some days to rest Happy

On the other hand, even though your contract doesn't say they should pay you once a month... usually those "silences" are interpreted using the custom (I don't know if I said that correctly, but you get the idea, right?)... In this case, people generally get paid once a month unless stated otherwise...

Besides, when there is a problem with the interpretation of the contract, when it was written by one of the parties only, that clause benefits the other party. So again, you have that as a benefit.

If you can't solve this situation in a good way with your employer (I suppose someone else has to respond for this issues while your accountant is away)... I will strongly recommend you file a complaint in whatever organization Italy has to protect workers rights.
This is an abuse and you should not tolerate it, even if you have some money saved up or you could ask your parents....

hope that helped Happy

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