Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario

The psychology of exploitation: unpaid overtime  November 14, 2010 – 09:23 pm
of the Human Resources

Many companies try to get around the Employment Standards Act. I remember being told, in person, something different from what was in the employee’s manual. When I asked why, I was told that oh, they just wrote that stuff in the booklet because of the law.

Nice. Those pesky laws will make you write down just about anything.

In short, I got the very strong impression that I would be encouraged, no doubt “for the sake of the team”, to work unpaid hours outside of my shift.

It’s usually hard to get all your work done on certain days without staying longer than the end of the shift. If you do, it will be unpaid labour, never mind unpaid overtime. And if you don’t, your coworkers are very likely to resent you and blame you for the work being late, the client getting upset and the higher-ups taking it out on the staff, instead of blaming the company for breaking the law, putting everyone in an unacceptable situation and playing everyone off against each other.

I’m angry at this kind of set-up. If you refuse to help companies disregard labour laws, you are “not being flexible” and have “a negative attitude”. Meanwhile, just how “flexible” is the company itself by refusing to pay for the additional hours staff is working? The company is the one stealing time.

Source: Canadian news. Real.

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Your post about your observations of the filene's store manager in nashua, new hampshire concerned me enough to write their human resources department. not because it seemed to be an unusual circumstance, but because it happens far too often.
i spoke with the director of human resources this morning who apologized and heartily agreed that the interaction you witnessed was highly inappropri.... and the director assured me that she did not consider it an excuse.
all managers are going to be informed that this incident took place and the concern that it has caused. this is not an incident that they want repeated for any of their customers regardless of age, race or the emotional state of their employees.
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