Need advice On my Job: Work for Free?

slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Cyber DonkeyMember Posts: 665 ■■■■□□□□□□
Ok, I am in a unique situation. I am 25. Live in a very depressed area in east texas where the job market for IT is non-existent. So here is what's going on.

We are currently only working four day's a week, This cost's me alot of money. Also, my boss keeps pushing for the other two guy's in my department to work these day's (and lets one of them work from home) this is because they have family's. So we need off hours maintenance done to our mail server I explain this to the boss and say I need to work friday.

Him "yea sure if you wanna work for free you can come in on friday"
Me "I don't plan on working for free, I expect to be paid."
Him " you can't stay late thursday and do it?"
Me " How is that fair to me, to have a short pay check and work over-time"
Him "what's the difference"
Me " about 200$"
He then leaves huffy and later tells me that I am not being fair and we have to do what we have to do, I am making the team look bad, etc, etc.

Am I right not to cave or should I? Any advice and any comments are welcome, I'm kinda lost here and want all the advice I can get from other IT folks.


Here is a time line of my current Job situation that lead me where I am and influenced my decision in this matter.

1. left old Job at auto supplier due to slumping GM business and likely hood of being laid off (this happened after I left, about 90% of the plant was laid off) Exit Salary 48k

2. Took new Job at cabinet manufacturer closer to home. 68k to start. (senior lan admin, one direct report)

3. Help desk postion that worked with me keeping the mindless stuff away from me, was fired, then I got a old friend on, they laid him off two months later. Now at month ten I am doing twice the work.

4. They implemented a pay cut for higher level salary employee's 7% ~4k for me or so.

5. They implemented "furlough friday's which is effectivly another 20% pay cut

6. Got a call from the CFO to unlock a file he had locked down with NTFS, had to open to verify work; file is a lay off list with my name and time frame in it, they have pushed back the deadline to cut me twice, but I still feel like it's coming.

7. Confronted management about this situation and was repeatdly lied to. Now I can't hardly sleep from worrying about this. It's eating my mind from the inside out.


  • RTmarcRTmarc Senior Member Member Posts: 1,082 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I wouldn't work for free, but that's just me. If they are requiring you to work without pay and fire you for refusing, I would imagine that is grounds to sue for wrongful termination.
  • undomielundomiel Virtual Member Member Posts: 2,818
    Are you hourly or salary? If you're hourly then stick to your guns, they can not make you work for free. If you're salary though that's a different story. Either way it definitely sounds like you should be looking for a new job.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon --
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Senior Member Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Are you hourly or salary?

    If you are hourly, obviously you would be entitled to the additional pay. If you are salaried on the other hand, then in my opinion events such as this where off hours maintenance is required then it just kind of comes with the job you signed up for even if your hours were reduced.

    I'm in a similar situation, working IT in a real estate company and I've been working 4 day weeks since October 08. I do what I need to do without questioning because I know that the times are tight, especially in the real estate industry.

    In a situation where money is tight and cutbacks are being made, everybody suffers. Everybody also tends to have to work a little bit harder since you are dealing with less time and resources but yet are still expected to accomplish the same results. I would go ahead and do the work even if it means you won't be compensated for it because in this industry it just doesn't make you look good to not perform required tasks because you were off the clock. If you do make a big fit out of this, I would certainly anticipate your name being pushed to the front of the layoff list and expect them to follow through this time. It's obvious your company is struggling, it's unfortunate that employees have to make sacrifices but it's a required part of a companies survival. If you put in extra effort even if your not being directly compensated for it, you will become noticed and that might save your job. And when things turn around, you may very well be paid back for it.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Google Ninja Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    slinuxuzer wrote: »
    6. Got a call from the CFO to unlock a file he had locked down with NTFS, had to open to verify work; file is a lay off list with my name and time frame in it, they have pushed back the deadline to cut me twice, but I still feel like it's coming.

    7. Confronted management about this situation

    Sorry to hear what is happening to you icon_sad.gificon_sad.gif

    Question though. [7] - is the situation referred to [6] ?

    If so then you have to be careful - even if you had to unlock / open the file - you not supposed to "read" - Hard to explain and I know it is hard not to.

    Example : The HR department secured a bonus document with a password and the person who knew the password left the company and I had to hack it. I was also told that if I use any information in this document outside of that office - it is a sackable offence ...

    I just don't want that you make your situation any worse ..
    My own knowledge base made public: :p
  • apena7apena7 Senior Member Member Posts: 351
    To all others faced with this problem:

    Once you work for free, then you set the expectation. Pretty soon, you'll be called in to work for free whenever there's a problem after-hours. In addition, once you refuse, you'll be made to look like a lazy jerk.

    Looks like a lose-lose situation to me.
    Usus magister est optimus
  • loxleynewloxleynew Senior Member Member Posts: 405
    I posted a similar thread but kinda different a few days ago. Your case is kind of different though in the fact that they are activley trying to fire you or let you go, whichever you want to call it.

    What is wrong with the mail server? If I was you I would delay the maintenance on it if you can and try looking for a new job. Sounds kind of lazy but a company works both ways. If the employer treats the employee like crap, they shouldn't expect the employee to just go out of their way to fix something. If you were doing something and it extended into thursday night then that's different, but asking you to come in on a day off without compensation is above and beyond imo. Especially considering they are trying to let you go in the near future.

    Best look for a new job even if you are in a dead zone as far as IT jobs go.
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