It’s seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. My manager offered to let me use up all my leave time while I’m working for my new company
I notified my current supervisor that I’d received a job offer and am going to take it. In discussing my end date for my current job and beginning date for my new job, she basically encouraged me to use up my medical leave, etc. She also vaguely referred to starting with them while using my leave at my current spot — meaning that I would start working my new job while still technically employed by the old one and using paid leave.
Would this open me up to any potential legal issues? Ethically it feels squidgy, but I hate my old job so much that I want everything out of them possible.
There’s no legal issue here, but you should take a look at your company’s policies. You’re probably not allowed to use medical leave unless it’s for a legitimate medical reason. And if they pay out your accrued vacation time when you leave, then it’s going to have the same impact anyway — because without the deceptive “still working here” when you’re really not. If they don’t pay out accrued leave, then you can certainly take your manager up on her offer to let you use vacation time up before your official end date — that’s her call to make, and if she tells you it’s okay (and it doesn’t violate any clear policies of your employer), there’s no reason you can’t do that.
But if there’s any grey area in their policies, I wouldn’t — if it turns out that it’s not okay and you get caught, you could burn a bridge, which generally you want to avoid.
2. Do raises really depend on the company budget?
I asked my boss for a promotion/raise and they told me they would work on it and that it will depend the budget in the next fiscal year. How much of that answer is true and is that always the case? Other departments have went through a rapid serious of promotions in this company very recently and I’m pretty sure that was not “planned” for.
It’s pretty common for raises and promotions to be dependent on budget issues — just like your ability to pay more for something at home is dependent on your home budget. Businesses have budgets too and don’t generally just hand out money without first making sure that they have room for it in their finances. And while your saw another department do a bunch of promotions, either they had room for it in their existing budget or the money was reallocated for that purpose. It’s always a question of where it gets allocated, which is essentially what your manager was saying to you.
3. References when your managers have died
My mom, at the age of 68, has decided to seek part-time work. She was an elementary school teacher for 30+ years in the local county school system and retired 6 years ago. She worked at 4 or 5 schools through her tenure — and all of the principals have either died, or are in states where they should not be giving references. She’s lost track of most of her colleagues as well.
I was thinking she could call the school system to at least get some of the data in relation to her personnel record. She’s planning on applying for tutoring positions, so I am wondering if they’ve encountered this before. We’re working on her resume, but this really threw for me for a loop. In lieu of direct work colleagues or principals, what is her next best option?
Calling the school district is a good idea, but she should also try to track down some of her former coworkers. Try LinkedIn or Google or the schools themselves.
4. Can my employer dock salaried workers’ pay?
My place of employment has implemented a new policy that if any employee steps outside for a phone call or so forth, all managers will be docked from their salaried pay because they had no knowledge that the employee stepped outside. Basically they expect us to know what the employees are doing at all times. I was under the impression that your salaried pay could not be docked for any reason unless stated in your signed contract. Can they do this?
If you’re exempt, your pay can’t be docked like this. If they do, they risk losing the exemption and having you reclassified as non-exempt, which would require them to pay you overtime for all hours over 40 you work in a week — and that could be applied retroactively, meaning they could have to pay you overtime for the past as well.
5. Hitting and swearing at customers
I work in McDonalds and was just wondering, say that one day a customer wants to take their anger out on someone (that someone being me) and they spit in my face. Would I get the sack for reacting in a violent or self-defensive manner, e.g swearing at them or hitting them?
Uh, yes. Hitting customers is generally frowned upon.
6. A high-ranking person in a field I’m interested in connected with me on LinkedIn
A few days ago, I got a request for connection on LinkedIn. Most have been people I have known, colleagues and perhaps people in my general professional neighborhood in town. I’m not a big LinkedIn maven. That said, out of the blue, I got a connection request from my city communications manager, a rather high ranking person in a position/professional avenue I could see myself in. I connected with him. I am currently job seeking in a related field (freelance writer); is there any way to actual connect to maybe see if there are any opportunities. The curiosity also is — why did he connect to me? Is that something you can professionally ask?
I think it would be awkward to ask why he connected with you (it implies you don’t think there’s any reason to be in touch, which undermines what you want to do here), but you could definitely write to him and tell him that you’re very interested in doing the type of work he does and telling him a bit about yourself.
7. When my employer sends me home earlier than scheduled, do I have to go?
I know my employer can schedule me overtime. Two days a week, I am being scheduled overtime. If on either of these scheduled overtime days they do not need me and they tell me to go home at my regular shift time, do I have to leave? Or can I stay and get the overtime pay?
No, if they tell you to go home, you can’t overrule them; you can’t just stay and get paid when they’ve told you to leave. I think maybe you’re wondering whether there’s some legal requirement that they allow you to work that time since they booked it with you and you cleared your schedule for it, but there is not.