should I hold a grudge over the job I didn’t get, restrictive new PTO policy, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Is it okay to ask my employer to look at my daughter’s application?

My daughter works as a payroll and benefits specialist and employee trainer for a great company which, nevertheless, is eliminating her position in all locations across the board (by implementing a computer kiosk system). It so happens that I also work for a great company that is looking for an HR generalist. My daughter has applied for the position and submitted her resume online. I subsequently called the recruiter and left a voicemail to say that my daughter had applied, but I did not leave any details about her experience.

More than a week has passed and I have not heard from the recruiter, so I don’t know if she looked at the resume. Is it okay to call her or email to elaborate on why I think my daughter is a good candidate?

No. It’ll come across as inappropriate pressure for her to hire your daughter. It was fine to call or email her once to let her know that your daughter was applying; that can get someone’s application a second look or particular attention. But from there, it’s in their court. If you get in touch again, it’s likely to come across as getting too involved on your daughter’s behalf (and could actually end up hurting your daughter’s chances, if it raises worries that you won’t respect boundaries either during the rest of the hiring process or while she’s working there).

However, you can certainly help your daughter’s chances from the other side of this: by talking to her about what the company is likely looking for and by helping her present herself as strongly as possible.

2. What’s up with my company’s new restrictive PTO policy?

My company has instated a new policy for non-exempt employees, and I just can’t find any other company example of this PTO style. If we have to miss work between 8-5, we have to take that time as PTO. Previously, we were allowed to make up the time (within the same week) outside of that window, by staying late, working weekend, coming in early, etc.

An example HR gave: Previously, if I had a doctor appointment and would need to come in at 9 (when my normal hours are 8 – 5), I could work through my lunch or stay an hour later and make up my normal 40 hours. But we can’t now. We have to take that 1 hour as PTO and take our lunch, then leave at 5. I can’t find any other example of this policy. Is this a normal policy?

It’s a weird policy, but it’s not unheard of. Why not ask them what the reasoning is, so that you better understand where they’re coming from? It’s possible that it’s just rigidity for no good reason, but since it’s a change, it’s more likely that it’s in response to something.

3. Should I hold a grudge over the job I lost out on to an internal candidate?

I interviewed for an accounting position with a private equity firm. I really like the firm and the boss I would be working for. I was incredibly excited about the position. I aced my second interview and waited for feedback. A few days later, my recruiter informed me that I knocked out the more experience finalists and had a great chance. But! The hiring manager stops short of making an offer, saying that he needed to speak with the CFO before anything finalizes. Lo and behold, after 2 weeks, my recruiter called me back to say that someone on the corporate team decided to raise her hand last minute, and the firm allowed her to transfer.

My recruiter isn’t delighted by that decision either. Besides not getting his commission, my recruiter has a good, long standing relationship with that firm. He checked with the manager to see if anyone internally was interested before starting the process. And I did everything right: I prepared for my interview, I wrote down a list of questions to ask, I was enthusiastic but not desperate, I wrote thank-you notes within 24 hours after the interview. Is it okay that I feel terribly wronged by that decision? Honestly, I would rather it be someone who I competed against, not someone who knew about this vacancy for 8 months.

Then, so-called good news, my recruiter told me that since they allowed an internal transfer, they will need someone to fill the corporate position that is being vacated. The hiring manager, the one I originally interviewed with, strongly advocated for me to fill the corporate position, which he does not oversee. That makes me kind of uneasy. On one hand, I really like the firm and they seem to treat their employees well. It’s a great place for me to build my career. On the other hand, I am afraid that I will end up wasting my time meeting the new team and find that they don’t like me or I don’t like them. I ended up telling my recruiter I will entertain another meeting. Should I just suck up my bitterness and pessimism, and give this a second try, even though I really want to hold a grudge?

This stuff happens. It sucks when you’re in your spot, but this really isn’t a horrible crime by any means. Employers take last-minute candidates all the time, and really, it’s in their interests to be willing to do that. I don’t see any reason to hold a grudge here or to resent them for what happened.

4. Do I have to pay overtime on make-up days?

I have an employee who is paid an hourly rate and who has been working for only 2 months and is now asking for two personal days off. She suggested for me that I allow her to make the two days up on a Saturday. If I accept, would I have to pay her overtime for these two Saturdays she works to make up her lost hours?

If working those Saturdays brings her over 40 hours in that week, then yes — even though it’s to make up for time off earlier. Overtime law doesn’t care why someone works more than 40 hours in a week; it just wants them paid overtime for those hours.

5. Listing older jobs when you have a sporadic work history

My husband has an AA. He went back to school in 2009 and graduated 2011. Prior to then, he had been unemployed for a year. He sporadically temped in 2007 and 2008, nothing that lasted longer than a few weeks. He worked at a call center and a grocery store before then, and was let go from one job at a car dealership (as a receptionist) after working there for only a month. He had two on-campus jobs while he was enrolled in school. Essentially he has no work history prior to that, because the earlier jobs were 2006 or thereabouts. Since graduating, he has worked retail, and he finally did get a part-time position doing what he went to school for.

When I recently assisted him with his resume, we included the two current positions (reception and retail) and the on-campus ones, but none of the much older ones, so it looks like his resume only goes back to 2009. Putting on older jobs seems like it would highlight an exceptionally long gap. It would also force the resume to 2 pages.

I only know how to write academic resumes. I don’t know how to advise him. The school’s career center is not the most useful (they still advise putting objective statements). Can you give me any further advice or guidelines to give him?

It’s hard to give specific advice on this kind of thing without seeing the resume in question, because the answer can change depending on factors like how long he’s been at each job, what kind of achievements he has from the earlier jobs, and what transferable skills each one might offer. But one option is to include an Other Experience section, where he lists some or all of the earlier jobs (but definitely not that one-month job). However, not listing work history from before 2009 might not be that big of a deal if it was mainly call center and retail work anyway.

The thing to consider here is whether adding those earlier jobs would strengthen the overall picture of him as a candidate (in terms of skills, accomplishments, and stable job history). If it would, add them. If it’s a neutral or negative, skip them.

{ 153 comments… read them below }

  1. EngineerGirl*

    Is it okay that I feel terribly wronged by that decision?

    No, it is not OK, because you weren’t wronged. They didn’t intentionally string you along and dump you. And taking offense only gives you an attitude problem and no one wants to hire you. If you take offense over small matters like this then you’re going to have huge problems in the corporate world. Because stuff like this happens all.the.time.
    As far as not competing against the person that ultimately got the job – well, you did compete. You just didn’t know it. It’s probably an advantage to the company to have someone with dual work experience. They get to make a current employee happy by giving a stretch assignment, and they fill the position with a known quantity. The manager also advocated for this new position, and that didn’t have to happen. They didn’t have to hire you at all, and they are still trying to do so.

    1. EngineerGirl*

      BTW, you can do everything right in the Olympics and still miss the gold. That’s especially true in subjective sports such as figure skating. I’ve yet to see someone quit just because they got a bronze. Really – they made the Olympics and they got a medal! Please look at it that way. You aced the interview in one of your chosen firms and the manager is still cheering for you. You may or may not get this second job but you are still in the running!

      1. Mike*

        Interesting tidbit: Someone analyzed the facial expression of the Olympic winners and found that the bronze winners generally showed more joy than the silver winners.

        1. Chriama*

          I just read about this! Bronze winners nearly missed getting no medal at all, whereas silver medalists just missed getting gold.

      2. Vanilla*

        As a figure skater myself, I loved that you used the Olympics in your analogy. It’s very appropriate in this instance. :)

    2. TrainerGirl*

      ITA. Please don’t carry this bitterness over into the next interview. They will be able to read it all over you. A friend shared a quote with me a couple of weeks ago, and it really fits this situation:

      Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

      They did not do anything to you. In fact, they are considering you for an additional position, which they were under no obligation to do. Go to the interview, be positive and open and make your decision once you’ve gotten more information and can make an informed decision about whether or not you would want the 2nd job. Good luck!

    3. MK*

      I agree. I think the OP is being overly emotional about this, probably because she was sure she had the job and now feels like it was “taken” from her; her reaction would be more appropriate for a rescinded job offer than for a rejected application. They offered the job to the one they thought would be the best fit, does it really matter that this person wasn’t part of the hiring process from the start? Or does the OP imagine that, had she competed against the internal candidate, she would have “knocked them out” too? The letter gives off this vibe, but there is no logical reason to think so. Perhaps the recruiter was too certain that the OP would get the position and gave the OP the impression that the job was practically hers.

      In fact, I feel that the OP is carrying this mindset to the new position too. She says it makes her uneasy that the manager who suggested she apply for new position doesn’t oversee it. Why? If it’s because she doesn’t know she will get along with the other manager, well, presumably this manager wasn’t the reason you wanted the job, was she? But if the reason for the uneasiness is that the OP is afraid that she might apply and be rejected again, they she needs to get rid of this “the job is almost mine” mentality. It sounds like she thinks this position is being offered to her as compensation for losing the previous one, subject to the new manager’s approval. They are inviting you to apply, OP, not offering you the job; you have as much chance as any other candidate, not more.

    4. Graciosa*

      This is a clear example of the type of thinking that can derail the career of an otherwise great individual. Letting anyone see that you take these things personally (okay, other than your family and close friends) is a huge professional mistake. People will wonder if you can be trusted to respond professionally to other normal business decisions which makes you a very high risk hire – someone who is going to pout or have a temper tantrum if a colleague’s idea is chosen over yours. Who needs that?

      You will also damage your relationship with the hiring manager who is advocating you within the company. He or she was clearly impressed enough to stake professional credibility on your being a good fit for the corporate position. You may be able to gracefully bow out if you don’t want the job, but letting any hint of bitterness out will make you memorable in a very bad way as “That candidate we thought was so great who turned out to be a real *&!*.”

      If you can be professional enough to go through this hiring process and not get the job (yes, again – it happens) even though you remain interested and would accept it happily if offered, then do it. If you can’t manage it, you will do less damage pulling yourself out of the running as soon as possible than trying to go forward and letting any hint of your feelings slip.

    5. A Dispatcher*

      I totally agree. I am sure this is just because of the sting from not getting a job you really wanted to and were very close to getting, but you’re coming across a bit entitled in your letter and you want to make sure not to project that during your next meeting. I find the wording “entertain another meeting” especially troublesome, but am also concerned by the doing everything right statement. Tons of very qualified people do everything right and exceed expectations and still lose out on jobs. It’s just a function of this economy.

      Like I said, I’m betting this is just temporary bitterness we all experience privately in situations like this, just be sure not to display it publically, and good luck!

      1. GrumpyBoss*

        +1. I hope the simple act of writing this letter was the cleansing experience that OP needed.

        If not, suck it up and move on. I know that’s harsh, but this is a pretty innocuous occurrence. You went, you have it your best, but someone was a better fit. It’s not like they rescinded an offer or insulted you. They made the decision that was in their best interest, and based on your story, they provided a substantial amount of feedback to you (which many won’t). This is how job hunting works. It’s a business decision, no matter how much you want it to be personal.

        And considering not going for a meeting to see if a different position is a better fit? Smacks of immaturity. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      2. Dang*

        Exactly. Similar things have happened to me countless times in my job search. It seems like this is the first time it’s happened to the op so she doesn’t really understand how prevalent it is. Jobs get cancelled, they get filled by internal candidates, etc… It just happens. I could understand the bitterness a bit more if they already had an internal candidate they were going to hire but dragged her into an interview to fulfill a quota but it wasn’t even that intentional!

      3. Adam*

        Precisely. Last job I interviewed for was for an internal position. I don’t know how many people were interviewed but I didn’t get an offer. I was told after the fact by my managers that I was actually the front-runner for the position…right up until they got a fairly last minute application from an external candidate who had a Masters degree (I only have a bachelors) and several years more experience. That’s kind of hard to argue against.

        Certainly I was disappointed, but I couldn’t really blame the organization for choosing as they did. I only interviewed once and didn’t hear anything about the job afterwards until it was filled. No one was to blame. And in a way I actually felt like I dodged a bullet because that department has gone way downhill in the year after that.

        1. TrainerGirl*

          And in a way I actually felt like I dodged a bullet because that department has gone way downhill in the year after that.

          So true. You just never know what will happen. I once interviewed for a job I really wanted and was depressed when I didn’t get it. A year later, that group was eliminated, and by that time I had a new job which turned out to be a much better opportunity, so you should never get too wrapped the idea of just one job.

    6. UK Anon*

      I think that I had read it slightly differently. I read:

      The hiring manager stops short of making an offer, saying that he needed to speak with the CFO before anything finalizes. Lo and behold, after 2 weeks, my recruiter called me back to say that someone on the corporate team decided to raise her hand last minute, and the firm allowed her to transfer.

      as meaning that the internal candidate only expressed an interest *within the two weeks*, i.e. after OP had completed the interviews etc and that they allowed the transfer without the internal candidate going through the same process. (I think it was “at the last minute” which made me read it that way)

      In that situation, I can understand the OP’s frustration at what happened, because her interview process would then have been pretty meaningless and avoidable (the internal candidate could have said from the start of the position being advertised and been transferred accordingly) and it might be a red flag for you about the company. If I’ve misread it, though, then I agree with everyone else, you went through the same process as someone else, so whether it’s an internal candidate or not you were only entitled to a fair process, not to the job. It will be better not just for your professional image but also personally to try and let go of the sense of bitterness, because you don’t want to start to fixate on it, especially if you go for the other position.

      1. A Dispatcher*

        The internal candidate may have been always interested in the position and had circumstances that held them back which changed during OP’s candidacy, they might have been off on leave during the initial process and not been in the loop about the position, they could have much more experience and expertise than the OP, they may have immediately needed to transfer out of their department, higher ups may have always preferred an internal candidate, etc etc… we just don’t know.

      2. MissM*

        I think you are reading it correctly, but I don’t agree that this is unfair. The internal candidate may have had their own reasons for not applying earlier. Maybe they were in the middle of another project, or maybe they needed to wait until they had been in the prior job for a full year, maybe they would need to relocate and weren’t sure about it, etc. In any event, that’s not the company’s fault, and not something the OP should be angry about. Once the int
        ernal candidate did apply, the company may have put them through an abbreviated interview process. They would not have needed all the vetting that the company would use with an external candidate, because the internal candidate is already known to them. It’s reasonable that they could have determined in a two week time frame that the internal candidate was the best person for the job. Again, no reason to think that the company was being unfair to the OP or that the company could have done anything to avoid this.

      3. MK*

        I don’t see why it makes a difference if it was within the two weeks or a bit before that. The hiring process was not meaningless or avoidable, unless they intended to hire the internal candidate all along; till this employee decided to apply, the company could have no reason to suppose they wouldn’t hire one of the interviewees. Why is would it be a red flag to transfer an employee who would be great at the job, even if they applied at the last minute?

        The only questionable behavior might be that of the internal candidate, but only if she wanted the job all along and decided to bide her time till the last minute for some reason (checking out the competition?). But there is no reason to suppose that is the case; maybe it only occured to her at the eleventh hour, maybe she lacked some qualification that she got at the last minute, maybe something personal made her want to transfer, maybe it made sense for the company to have a tried employee in this job, etc.

        1. fposte*

          Right, it’s not her obligation to meet the OP on a field of combat, and it’s not the organization’s obligation to prioritize candidate approach over organizational benefit.

          I’m hearing some just-world hypothesis in the OP’s post, too–that if you do everything right, you’ve earned the reward, and if you do everything right and don’t get it, then you’re being cheated. As EG notes, people do everything right and don’t get the reward all the time, because life doesn’t work like that; that’s why there are lot of good people unemployed and healthy-living people with early onset diseases. We don’t have that kind of control over life. It would be nice if we did, but we don’t.

          Refusing to talk to them again only hurts you–it doesn’t punish them in the slightest–but if you really can’t put the matter aside it might be the best thing to do, as you might not be able to be an asset to them if you’re still really angry at them.

      4. Anon*

        I don’t think they’re obliged to put the internal candidate through the same process just to appease external candidates. With internal candidates, they already know a lot of the things that the interview process is designed to predict.

        It would have been most considerate if this person had stepped up right away, but circumstances change and people change their minds. I don’t think that they should be denied the job, or the company denied a candidate that they KNOW will be good rather than one that they have a good feeling about, just because one person will be disappointed. It’s not good business. I feel like the way they treated the internal candidate – being supportive even late in the process – says that they treat their internal employees well, and the OP shouldn’t hesitate to join the organization if they can get the vacated position (assuming, obviously, that the new team and position are appealing).

    7. books*

      I think you might be overreacting, but your emotional response is not wrong. Not getting a job you want sucks.

  2. Aam Admi*

    #4. Do I have to pay overtime on make-up days?
    We had a secretary (union employee) at my previous job that did this often. Every year, her name made it to the public sector compensation disclosure (sunshine) list, while none of us managers were paid close enough to be on that list .
    At our hospital, admin staff were not scheduled to work weekends or public holidays. When a public holiday fell on a Friday or Monday, she would take a vacation day right before and would work on the holiday to catch up. The public holiday pay with overtime was 2.25 regular rate plus she was paid at straight time for the vacation day. When I arrived at this hospital as a manager, I reviewed her old time sheets and discovered the pattern. From then on, when she asked for a day off, I would approve only under the condition that she would not need to work the weekend or on the holiday to catch up. That one year, I was her manager, her total compensation dropped so much that she had to quit.

    1. Proud Socialist*

      Personally, I think that was a mean thing to do. She didn’t do anything illegal, unethical or against company rules, she just utilised her holidays to make the most of the overtime available.
      You decided to punish her for this to the point where she had to quit her job?? Wow.

      1. fposte*

        I don’t see anything like that in Aam Admi’s account. Nobody punished the employee; she simply was no longer allowed discretionary overtime work and decided it wasn’t worth it to stay. If it’s not unethical for the employee to work within OT rules, it’s not unethical for the company to work within them too and withhold permission for OT.

        Short version–I think the employee is allowed to attempt to make such arrangements, and the company is allowed to preclude them. No moral failing either way.

        1. Proud Socialist*

          My reading is that she was denied holidays simply in order to deny her overtime catch-up, not out of any operational requirements, but simply to deny her the chance of overtime, because Aam admi apparently didn’t like the fact the employee ended up with more money than her.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            It didn’t read like that to me. It read like the employee was gaming the system in a way it was never intended, and Aam Admi simply put a stop to that.

            1. Not So NewReader*

              I read “gaming”, too, she was stacking the deck so she got a nice fat check. And she was doing it regularly. If this happened once in a great while, I would agree that there was not enough to show a problem. But no, this was a deliberate and systematic plan to get extra money out of the company.

              Most place I have worked, she would have done that once and gotten a write up that told her next time she will be out the door.

            2. krisl*

              I agree with AAM. The employee was gaming the system. Aam Admi stopped it. It wasn’t mean to prevent the employee from doing this.

            3. TrainerGirl*

              I was the workforce manager for a help desk a couple of years ago, and when I took over the job, I found a number of employees “gaming” their schedules in various ways, and put a stop to it. They were all very angry with me, but I was amazed that the previous person (or the managers) had never caught on.

              One employee, who worked 4 days/week remote, was able to take 6 weeks of vacation (she only had 4) because no one was paying attention that she would take a week of vacation but never report it on her timecard. She’d done it for several years, but when I approved the next year’s vacation requests, I flagged it and took it to the managers. This was a fireable offense, but the managers let it slide because they’d been so negligent by not noticing. She hated me for the rest of the time I had that job, because I’d ruined her good thing.

          2. doreen*

            “From then on, when she asked for a day off, I would approve only under the condition that she would not need to work the weekend or on the holiday to catch up.” That’s part of what approving leave based on operational requirements means.

            1. Proud Socialist*

              Well the first paragraph of Aam Admi was all about how the employee (a union employee no less) earned more than management which is only relevant if that was the motivating factor for taking action against her.
              The company/previous manager didn’t appear to have a problem with what she was doing, so I do question the motive of aam Admi.

                1. Not So NewReader*

                  I read it as relevant, too. Part of a manager’s function is to control costs.
                  If a vendor were charging 2-3 what anyone else charged, it would be up to the manager to get a new vendor.
                  She was just lining her pockets. I had a cohort do this. “Oh there is so much work! Way too much work! We need overtime!”Yeah. Okay. Later she confided that she had found a way to get some extra cash in her check. The overtime was not necessary at all.

                2. TJ*

                  In my opinion, the company likely decided to pay employees at a higher rate on holidays as an incentive for employees to volunteer to work on a holiday. If she is truly working overtime (more than 40 hours a week), then she also deserves the overtime pay, I do not see how she was abusing the system. Yes she was taking a vacation day close to a holiday, but was that not also her right? From the information, it seems that she was simply exercising her rights and taking advantage of the opportunity her employer provided, unless I have missed something.

                3. Koko*

                  She’s public sector, which means the holiday/overtime pay is probably universal across all jobs and job types. Aam Admi wrote, “At our hospital, admin staff were not scheduled to work weekends or public holidays,” so they are not looking for volunteers those shifts, they run without admin on those days. This secretary was taking a vacation day right before a holiday so that she would have a reason to “need” to come in on the holiday (to make up work she fell behind on because of her vacation day) since her position isn’t actually needed there on holidays.

                  BTW, “holiday pay” is often called “overtime” colloquially, because it’s an increased hourly rate, but it generally applies even if the employee is under 40 hours for the week.

              1. BRR*

                I read it as setting the situation (and I don’t even think it matters if it’s union or not). It is relevant in that the market rate for secretaries is not that high. For her to make the disclosure list she would have to be earning $100,000+ by scamming her employer. She wasn’t needing the overtime to keep up with her work, she was abusing the system. The previous manager didn’t catch on but that could just mean the previous manager was bad at their job.

                Most (if not all) employers try to discourage overtime because they have a certain amount budgeted for labor and if you decide you want to work monday because you took off tuesday but it just so happens it costs the employer 2.25 what it would normally cost them for you to work monday they’re going to try and stick with what they budgeted for labor (with the budget not trying to cut employee’s hours).

                1. BRR*

                  It’s not up to an employee to decide when they get to be paid 2.25 their regular rate. If you get paid $100 a day and all of sudden they need to pay you $225 a day (for nice round number purposes only) and that happens X times a year that money needs to come from somewhere.

                2. The Bookworm*

                  I agree – it sounds like she was gaming the system AND wrecking the budget for her department.

                  Good managers have to consider whether costs are necessary – and act accordingly.

                3. Kelly*

                  The metro transit system in my city had some bus drivers doing something similar a couple years ago. They had some seniority and would work a lot of overtime. As a result, these drivers were some of the higher paid city employees for a year or two, making over $100K per year. It was significantly above the average salary for drivers. IRRC, the reasoning they used was that they were short staffed for drivers at the time, but it seems like they were gaming the system and using their seniority to get the overtime. It also affected the amount being contributed by the state into their pensions. Because during that period they were making more, they were getting more put in for their retirement. The city has curbed that abuse by making overtime available to all drivers, not basing it on seniority and hiring more drivers.

              2. Elsajeni*

                In addition to setting the scene and giving some context for exactly how big of a financial hit the employer was taking, I read that as Aam Admi explaining what caught her attention and prompted her to look into how this one employee had ended up being paid so much more than everyone else. It was the motivating factor for taking action, but not out of some desire for revenge — not “I begrudge that secretary her high pay,” but rather, “It’s weird that that secretary is being paid much, much more than everyone else at her level and many people at higher levels. Is that supposed to be happening?”

          3. fposte*

            She wasn’t denied holidays. She was denied the choice to *work* on holidays. She was able to take PTO; she just couldn’t make days up on holidays. That’s pretty standard.

          4. Cassie*

            Obviously different states/places have different rules but I think at our university, the person wouldn’t have gotten overtime pay for working on a holiday (maybe only holiday pay). In order to get paid overtime, you have to actually work over 40 hours a week, so if she took a day off with vacation pay, she would only have worked 32 hours thus rendering her ineligible for overtime pay.

            I believe it’s up to the supervisor/manager to approve overtime and/or the employee’s work schedule. If the secretary says I’d like to take a vacation day and work on July 4th, it’s the supervisor’s prerogative to say “you can take the vacation day but you cannot work on July 4th”. Or “you can’t take the vacation day because there’s too much work that needs to be done, and you also cannot work on July 4th”. Besides, is there really that much work that you would need to come in on a holiday to make up the time? For admin/clerical work?

      2. doreen*

        It would have been against policy everywhere I’ve ever worked – because both leave approval and overtime approval were based on operational needs and additionally overtime was meant for emergencies, not to catch up on your normal workload. You can’t have it both ways, and take Wednesday off and come in for overtime on Friday. It wouldn’t have been the secretary who was at fault – it would have been the previous manager who shouldn’t have approved the leave if it was going to result in overtime and who shouldn’t have approved the overtime if it wasn’t necessary. And for it to happen frequently, it had to be one or the other

      3. Anon for this one*

        I read it like many others where this woman was gaming the system. She found a loophole that was ignored until Aam Admi came along and closed it, that’s all.

        We currently have an employee who calls out sick for maybe half of her scheduled shifts at this point (and is therefore taking it all as unpaid at this point as she’s long been out of paid days off), but she comes in for overtime on her days off and gets the OT rate of pay. I can understand her needing/wanting money at this point, but I honestly have no problem with management finally starting to get together a policy about no OT pay/keeping it straight pay until the employee hits 40 hours/week (I don’t know why hasn’t always been a policy?!). A couple of people have abused this in the past, but she is costing us an outrageous amount of money. Not only do they have to cover her shift with 1.5x pay for an OT employee, but they then have to pay her 1.5 when she comes in. Many of us who work a lot of OT in addition to our regular 40 hours are starting to get pretty disgruntled at her working half the hours and making the same amount of money…

        1. Aam Admi*

          Our unionized employees schedule vacation days in blocks of 2-3 weeks and these are approved at the beginning of the year. They are allowed to keep a few days unscheduled to use for emergency. It is extremely rare for someone take a bulk of their vacation entitlement one day at a time.
          Because the admin staff work for busy physicians, their manager must make advance arrangements for vacation coverage by calling in a temp or having another secretary watch the phones. The secretary who takes time off should have very little catching up to do as most of the work would have been done by the person covering the position.
          I wasn’t denying her time off. I was just preventing the employee from billing us at 2.25 times the rate for the same work. The union’s collective agreement allows managers to make such decisions. We are a tax payer funded Govt hospital and are expected to make efficient use of resources.

    2. Ed*

      A similar thing happened at my company. Employees were gaming the system to get a ton of overtime that was a) not required to get their work done and b) not even being worked in many situations. They had a really weak manager so they got away with this for years. It’s hard to say how much they got in extra pay but based on the month-long period we could go back on video to confirm, it was likely a couple hundred thousand a year between them.

      We couldn’t fire them because it was an entire department and letting them all go would have negatively affected the company. And they all did it so they all should have received the same punishment. It was also tough to fire them legally because they did it for so long our lawyer thought that would be a potential argument. If it was so wrong, why did their manager let them do it for years?

      We ended up firing the manager and putting the department on probation (and I think they threw a letter in everyone’s HR file that might play a role in any future promotions). We changed the way the schedule was written and how they clocked in and out (throughout the entire company) to eliminate the opportunity to repeat. But as the real punishment, similar to Aam Admi’s response, we took away their overtime. We changed the schedule to make overtime less necessary, reprioritized their days so the required work got completed first (and unfinished work could wait until tomorrow) and hired an additional person to work second shift who could stay and finish their work. Hiring an extra person was more costly than paying a little overtime but the owner volunteered to do it because it made her sick to give them a dollar more of overtime.

      After years of excessive overtime, many of them were making an extra $25-40K a year and, as most people would, had adjusted their lifestyle to the “new” salary. They had vacation homes, boats, motorcycles, etc. I know at least some of them suffered serious financial setbacks. It was impossible to leave and get a similar job at their temporarily inflated salary.

      Did we feel guilty? Not in the slightest considering they knowingly stole from our company.

  3. Mike*

    Re #2: I know that in California meal breaks are required for non-exempt employees (and “on duty” meal breaks have a heap of rules associated with them). So making up missed times during lunch could be problematic for them.

    1. LucyVP*

      I was going to mention this..

      Working through lunch may be legally a problem but staying late might be a reasonable request.

    2. Dan*

      I was a non-exempt employee in California, and actually don’t remember anything at all about breaks. I’m not trying to disagree with you, just more thinking aloud that I don’t have the first clue about meal breaks when I worked there.

      1. Sharm*

        I was also non-exempt in CA and can’t remember taking breaks either (I would always just take a lunch). I think it was something like if you had worked 5 or 5.5 hours straight, you had to take at least a 15 minute break? Maybe something like that?

        1. Anonyby*

          It’s 3 hours for a 15 minute break, 6 hours 15 min for a 30 minute lunch. And I think somewhere around 9 hours for another 15 minute break, 12 hours for 2 30 min lunches… It’s roughly every 3 hours and you get another break tacked on.

          The 15 minute breaks you don’t clock out for, though. Only the lunch(es).

        2. Mike*

          Meal breaks: (After 5 hours you get a 30 minute meal break unless the total hours work is going to be 6 hours)

          Rest breaks: (10 minute break per 4 work period taken in the middle of the work period)

          My first job out of school was a non-exempt position and it was up to us to take the breaks at the appropriate times. I always figured I spend at least 20 minutes throughout the day not being productive so no real need to take a break. Since I get grumpy when I get hungry lunch wasn’t generally a problem but more than a few times it was done late.

        1. fposte*

          Totally. California 15-minute breaks are chapter 3 of the The Communist Manifesto. (Whereas The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon is, surprisingly, mostly about the at-will exception in Montana.)

      1. Apollo Warbucks*

        What are you on about ?

        Communism is a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

        A 15 minuet tea break isn’t at all related to then concept of communism at all, it’s basic worker rights

        1. Artemesia*

          People who use this ‘commie’ talk don’t think workers have rights; they think only ‘capital’ has rights and people with all the money are chosen by god.

          1. Mike*

            That said, California law does get in the way sometimes. There were a few things we (the employees) wanted to do that the employer would have agreed to but couldn’t because CA law says it is illegal. One of the reasons I’m happy to be in exempt positions now.

        2. krisl*

          I think a 10-15 minute break is actually good for the employer, too. Employees tend to be refreshed and able to do a better job after a break. At least I am after a break.

      2. Anon*

        I really hate the damn communists who force me to get to take breaks. I’m so jealous of those who work in the non-communist states where their employers can force them to go without food or rest indefinitely if they so desire. That is the true essence of progress. Go America!

    3. OP*

      I’m not in California, but I know my state does have the mandated lunch and break requirements. My confusion was more on why we weren’t allowed to come in early or work late.

    4. Anon*

      This is true. However, if, say, you normally have an hour scheduled, you can take 30 minutes instead (I believe that’s the minimum).

      I did work for an employer who had a policy exactly like the one described. However, I’m pretty sure it was either retaliation against me for speaking up about the fact that I shouldn’t be exempt (I was actually made exempt without my knowledge and with no increase in pay) or just a manager misinterpreting the employee handbook. (It said that hourly employees can’t make up missed hours, but in most companies that doesn’t mean there’s a weird rule about working 15 minutes late if you come in 15 minutes late, it just means you can’t make up hours on other workdays because they’d be paying you 1.5x for those hours as California requires OT for more than 8 hours worked in one day.)

  4. OP5*

    Thank you for printing my question! Yes, his prior work history was retail and call center, and until he went back to school, his work history was very spotty. He had some issues with being on time. I have gone back and firth on how to help. The reason I have helped as much as I did was that I have taught business writing (being thrown into that class with little experience is what led me to this blog in the first place).

    There is not a lot of skill transfer from those earlier jobs, so it probably is best to focus in on what he has done that relates to his future goals. It really helps to feel that affirmed.

    1. Fucshia*

      I wouldn’t worry about the older jobs. Since he just graduated with an AA in 2011, employers will probably assume he is about 20-22 and the shorter work history will go along with that.

      1. Persephone Mulberry*

        That said, the OP says her husband went “back” to school for the AA, so if he’s over, say, 30, he may want to be prepared to explain his abbreviated work history.

        1. Judy*

          I have co-workers who went back to school to become engineers, one was a HS science teacher and one was an electrician. I’m pretty sure neither of them list their previous jobs on their resumes.

          Now that I’m over 40, I’ve taken the dates of my degrees off my resume, and the job from the first 6 years or so of my career are not on there. (The dates of my degrees are not on Linked In, and those jobs have been removed, also.)

          1. fposte*

            I think it depends on age and subsequent career/experience. A degree or career program really is a bit of a career reset, which is one of its great advantages, and it does limit what you need to get into about your life before.

            But there’s a balance. The later in life you get, the weightier the degree/the longer your post-degree experience has to be to render your prior work history uninteresting to employers. Law school at 30 is pivotal in a way that, say, a clerical certificate at 45 isn’t going to be.

            Since the OP’s husband doesn’t really have anything prior to his program that’s going to be helpful on a resume, it’s a bit of a moot point for him, but if he’d had a solid career history prior to an AA I’d include it to add some weight and drop it off when he got something equivalently weighty after the degree (unless it brought some useful facet to his history that he couldn’t otherwise get).

        2. Fucshia*

          Right, but a person reading the resume isn’t going to know about the “back to” part.

          I see I was off on the ages above, since the graduation was in 2011, but I don’t see any harm in letting the hiring team think he is younger than he is. He can then address anything he wants in the interview (or not, if he appears younger too).

    2. Ethyl*

      OP — was he working with a temp agency, or just at various jobs that were temporary or seasonal in nature? I temped through grad school, and I list the temp agency on my resume and some short bullet points about particularly noteworthy projects or skills I acquired during that time.

  5. Angela*

    #2 – The company I work for instituted this policy due to employees abusing the ability to self adjust to the point that there were not enough people working at the hours they were needed. While one person occasionally shifting their schedule by one hour is no big deal, 125 people sliding their shifts around as they see fit is chaos.

    1. Anon*

      #2 – we have a similar policy, too. We need to have certain staffing levels at certain hours to operate. And people were trying to make up hours as a way around PTO leave limits, effectively abusing that policy.

    2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      I can see how #2 might become a logical business decision.

      The heart of our operations are our folks who face customers from 8am through 8pm, and the folks who support the customer facing employees. We’re not a huge company, so scheduling to make sure we have the right level to fill customer’s needs in every hour block of the day is intricate. This is not hourly shift work in a call center, and we’re sensitive to treat our valued employees as professionals who can have flexibility for things like doctor’s appointments, the cable guy is coming, etc. …….. BUT, the logistics on a bad day can be nerve wracking. Jane having a doctor’s appointment can’t mean that Mr. New Customer has to wait an extra four hours to get a quote on his $10,000 potential order. (A couple people coming just an hour or two after expected can back up the whole system to result in multi hour delays of customers getting what they need.)

      We don’t do #2. We worked pretty hard to create a culture of individual responsibility and responsibility to the larger team of all of us and it’s all okay except for a healthy handful of bad days where other folks are scrambling to fill in gaps.

      I can see the path to #2, though. If you really need x players in place at xx:xx time, #2 creates a disincentive to time shift, but allows time shifting if the employee really needs it.

  6. MK*

    “to elaborate on why I think my daughter is a good candidate”

    I do wish people realised how useless it is to give sales talks about how wonderful their children/parents/spouses/BFFs are. OP, your daughter may be indeed a great candidate and you may be one of the few parents able to be objective about their children, but the recruiter will likely only hear a mother bragging about her kid. You are extremely partial and so your opinion is completely untrustworthy, even if you make good points.

    1. Graciosa*

      The daughter should have made “why she is a good candidate” clear in her cover letter and resume.

      1. Artemesia*

        Exactly. I would back away from the candidate whose mother was campaigning for them. Drawing attention to the fact that the daughter is applying is minimally acceptable; it might get an extra look, but anything beyond that will taint the daughter’s application and imply that the daughter is incapable of making her own way in the world. Many hiring managers have been saddled with the sad products of nepotism in the past when bosses forced employment of their inept entitled children and so you might really cause this to backfire for the daughter in a big way by pushing their candidacy. If the daughter can’t make her own case for her wonderfulness, why would they want to hire her?

        1. asasda*

          “I would back away from the candidate whose mother was campaigning for them. ”

          Right. Rather than evaluate them by their application, use the parent’s behavior to reduce the chance of hiring them. Their resume and cover letter could be strong, but that parental intervention implies they cannot make their way in the world. That makes a lot sense.

          1. MK*

            What does make sense is guarding yourself against having an employee whose parent a) is also working for the company and possibly for a senior position and b) willing to interfere with their child’s professional life. In my field it is very common for children to follow in their parents footsteps; as a result it is common to find youself managing the children of people who are above you in the hierarchy, sometimes people who supervise you (or used to). If the parent is someone who won’t observe a proper distance, it can be very disruptive and awkward: you have to deal with a higher-up who is trying to interefere in your job and possible an employee who thinks they get special treatment becuase of their parent. So it’s perfectly sensible to factor an interfering parent into the hiring decision.

            1. FortT*

              Thank you for your comments. I am the mother, and I am happy to say that I followed my professional and not my maternal instincts in the matter and did nothing beyond mention the application to the recruiter. My daughter is qualified for the position and is perfectly capable of representing herself personally and professionally, and, I should point out, did not ask me to put in a word for her. On Friday, I ran into the recruiter, with whom I am friendly, and did not say a word about the resume. I guess I just wanted confirmation. Thanks again to all who commented.

  7. Seventh Time Poster*

    #2 – I have a somewhat related question while you’re on the subject of puzzling/weird PTO policies. My company recently initiated a new rule re: PTO use. Let’s say you work a schedule that includes a less-than-8-hour day….for instance, four-and-a-half days a week (36 hrs/week) or five 6-hour days (30 hrs/week). If you want to take off the whole shift of what would typically be your 4- or 6-hour day, you’re required to use 8 hours of PTO for that day. However, if you’re off any partial amount of a day on one of your workdays (as long as you work SOME of the day), you’re allowed to make that time up anytime during the same pay week. Can any of you HR pros give me a clue as to the rationale behind this rule? The only thing I can guess is to discourage people from taking days off(?), as this rule certainly discourages ME from burning up 8 hours of my PTO bank for a 4-hour day off. But still, I feel that I’ve earned that PTO and would like to use it this way once in a while. What’s a possible rationale for a policy like this? I’d have to go back and check the employee handbook to be sure, but I think you lose any unused PTO when you quit, so it doesn’t seem to hurt the employer if you let your PTO build up. After all, if you lose it when you leave, they wouldn’t have to pay on it at all. I think I must be missing something! :-) If you’re familiar with a policy like this one, thanks in advance for any possible explanation.

    1. MJ*

      You will probably find it has to do with funky math involved in how you accrue time off. A lot of policies refer to “days” when in fact, some people have an 8 hour day and others have a 6 hour (or other) day. So every time you accrue a day of PTO, the company accounting puts in 8 hours, even though your day is only 6. Then when you take a day off, you lose 8 hours even though you only took 6 hours off. For the company accounting, it’s a day in and a day out. For the employees it’s just confusing.

      1. Laura*

        That would make sense for the five six-hour days example, but not for the 5-days/36 hours where it’s four 8s and a 4. That’s about 7 hours a day average, so if they take off an eight-hour day they’re ahead (accounting-wise) while if they take off a four-hour day they’re behind. And losing a whole day for taking off your half-day does seem unfair.

  8. Dan*


    AAM, there’s an obligatory “except in California” clause that should be mentioned here beyond the usual “over time after 8 hours in a day.” (If in fact the OP is in CA.)

    The overtime rule in California is based off of paid hours in a week, not *worked* hours. If my non-exempt schedule is generally 9-5 M-F, and I take a PTO day on Wednesday, and come in on Saturday, I’m owed 40 hours of straight pay and 8 hours of overtime pay. In most other states, I’d just be owed 48 hours of straight pay.

    Hey, I swear, except for the high COL, California is great for employees. Best state I ever worked in.

    1. Anonyby*

      Very true! I have a friend that works 4 10-hour days for part of the year (there’s seasonal variation on his job). And Mine I can wiggle around so long as I stay at or under 40 hours and have a day off.

    2. Juli G.*

      Absolutely. I’m pretty sure you get paid for sneezing in front of your employer in California.

    3. Mike*

      > The overtime rule in California is based off of paid hours in a week, not *worked* hours.

      That is NOT true.

      > One and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek; and
      > Double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

      That page also has a FAQ for that very situation:

      > Q. Last week I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, eight hours each day. I was out ill all day Friday. For the workweek I was paid 48 hours at my regular hourly rate. Am I entitled to eight hours of overtime pay?
      > A. No, you are not entitled to any overtime pay. Overtime is calculated based on hours actually worked, and you worked only 40 hours during the workweek. Another example of where you get paid your regular wages but the time is not counted towards overtime is if you get paid for a holiday but do not work that day. In such a case, the time upon which the holiday pay is based does not count as hours worked for purposes of determining overtime because no work was performed.

  9. Cari*

    #3 – from what you’ve described, it wouldn’t be a grudge worth wasting the energy on. If the job they want you for now is one you can do and are interested in, go for it. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
    I’ve wasted time doing interviews for public sector jobs where they’ve already got an internal candidate lined up for the position, so I understand where you’re coming from. But over here (UK), they have to advertise externally as a legal requirement (so I’ve been told) so it’s just something jobseekers have to suck up when going for public sector jobs. Not sure about private sector, or if there’s similar rules/requirements in other countries though.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      I understand where OP is coming from, too. And if OP has been through this several times it gets harder and harder to forgive and forget.

      Going in a different direction, OP, do you really want this employer? They sound like they have difficulty making decisions. “Yes, you have a raise coming.” Then, later, “Oh we gave your raise to someone else.” hmmm.

      So a few things:
      Don’t get your heart set on a job. Alison gives the best advice when she says apply for it and move on.
      Just because one or two people seem enthused about hiring you, that doesn’t mean everyone else is and it doesn’t mean you have the job. Until you walk in on that first day, you cannot be sure the job is yours.

      Although, I feel sympathetic toward your story, my sympathy will be of no help to you. Set your anger/hurt down somewhere and walk away. It won’t serve you well at all. I have seen plenty of this turnabout stuff, it’s not going to go away. Companies will do whatever they want. The best you can do is turn yourself around and look at something else. Latch on to something here in all these posts that resonates with you and use that to pull yourself on to your next gig.

      1. MK*

        I don’t see why you think that the company has difficulty making decisions. Your example is off, since they never made the OP an offer and then rescinded their decision. It’s not even certain that the OP would have gotten the job, even if the internal candidate hadn’t applied at the last minute; it could have been another external candidate that was chosen.

        1. Zillah*

          That’s my take, too. Honestly, in some ways, it seems like they’d be a good company to work for – they certainly treated the internal candidate well.

  10. UK Anon*

    #2 – my partner’s office had something similar but more restrictive. If you needed to miss any time (even just 10 minutes on either side of lunch to do a lunch time appointment) you had to take off the entire morning or afternoon shift (so in my example above you’d need the entire day off – if you were able to come in for 09.30, you wouldn’t be allowed to start until after lunch, etc). You had to take lunch and you couldn’t work late, so this just became unpaid time (not even PTO). They wouldn’t vary this even where it made business sense.

    Their reasoning was that they didn’t trust the employees not to try and claim extra time…

  11. nep*

    #3 – Completely agree with the commenters above — For one, this can be a lesson in ‘don’t take things personally’. And grudges are invariably a waste of time and energy anyway. Don’t look backward — you’re not going that way. Clinging onto bitterness is pure self-sabotage. OP asks whether to ‘suck up my bitterness and pessimism…even though I really want to hold a grudge?’ — It’s not about sucking up your bitterness and pessimism; it’s about cutting these out of your professional comportment because they can only set you back. You ‘want to hold a grudge’ ? Really? What would that serve? I understand there might be strong emotions right in the wake of the employer’s decision, but one needs to think past that, focus on all that’s positive here, and move on.

  12. Red Librarian*

    For #3, the OP doesn’t actually *know* what happened with the internal candidate. They are getting this from the recruiter who, even the OP admits, is unhappy with the situation either so there is obvious bias coming from the recruiter. There may be circumstances that stopped the internal candidate from applying earlier and if the vacancy was still posted, there’s nothing stopping anyone else, internal or external, from applying and getting the job over you.

    The fact that they still want to consider you for another position is great news, but I would take a step back and reevaluate your attitude towards the company. While the situation is frustrating, you weren’t really wronged. No job offer was made so it’s not as though they took it away from you or this internal candidate stole it.

    Remember what AAM always tells us time and time again: until you have been given the offer and accepted it, the job is not yours.

    1. Colette*

      Or the internal employee applied at the beginning bad for business reasons (covering for someone, lack of trained people with skill X, etc.) the business wanted her to stay where she was, and then something changed. You can’t tell what happened internally from the outside.

    2. fposte*

      That’s a really good point about the recruiter–she and the OP may be feeding each other on this one, and the OP may want to step back and think about her situation independently of the recruiter’s feelings.

    3. Shortie*

      Yeah, there is no way to know what really happened. I was that last minute internal candidate once and ended up getting the job, but I swear I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. The backstory is that particular job was my career goal, but when it came open, I didn’t feel I was qualified just yet. As the company began interviewing people, though, I noticed that none of the candidates seemed any more qualified than me. Threw my hat in the ring at the last minute, went through a very grueling interview process where I had to explain exactly why I was the right person, and got selected to fill the position. The interview process was incredibly difficult because they knew me; I had to claw my way out of a pigeonhole.

      1. Shortie*

        I should also clarify that when the position FIRST came open, I floated the idea of applying past the hiring manager, and he did not seem pleased or like he thought it was a good idea. So that’s another huge reason I waited so long. Did I mention the interview process was incredibly difficult? :-)

  13. Reader*

    #4 – Are the personal days paid days off? If they are then yes you would pay overtime for the Saturdays. If they are not paid days then you would pay straight time. BUT – The other issue is when does your pay week start? If it’s Saturday to Friday then you would be paying overtime even if the personal day is non-paid if it is in a different pay week.
    Example 1) Take off Tues Aug 5, work Sat Aug 9 to make up, work Mon Aug 11-15. Employee gets OT for Sat as they have worked 48 hours in a pay week (Sat,Mon,Tues,Wed,Thurs,Fri)
    Example 2) Work sat Aug 2, take off Tues Aug 5. Employee does not get OT as they only worked 40 hours that pay week (Sat,Mon,Wed,Thurs,Fri)

    1. kimberly*

      Are the personal days paid days off? If they are then yes you would pay overtime for the Saturdays.

      Not necessarily.

      From comments above, it sounds like that is true in Ca, but it isn’t true in any state I’ve worked in.

      If I leave early on Monday and take 2 hours of PTO, but stay late 2 hours on Friday, I will get paid for 42 hours but I won’t get overtime because I only worked 40 hours even though I get paid for 42.

      1. Reader*

        Kimberly, in your example you have the 2 hours off paid. In my example the are not paid so the hours for the week with the day off are either 32 or 40.
        Example 1 would be 32 hours in pay week with day off and 48 in the following week.
        Example 2 would be 40 hours for the pay week.

      2. GreatLakesGal*


        In my company ( not in CA), as a non-exempt employee, if I took Monday and Tuesday as PTO, then worked Weds through Sunday, I would be paid for 56 hours of straight time, as PTO is not calculated into OT.

        OT is for hours worked, not hours paid, per our policy ( and most other places, from what I’m reading here!)

      3. Mike*

        > From comments above, it sounds like that is true in Ca, but it isn’t true in any state I’ve worked in.

        It’s not true in CA. I posted a response with links to the state’s website explaining it.

    2. Greggles*

      I think most states pay over time pay based on what’s worked not what’s paid.

      Tuesday is a non work day. So while that’s calculated in the hours paid it’s not calculated in hours worked. In this example you would get 40 hrs strait time (based on 8 hrs worked per day) and 8 Hrs PTO for a total of 48hrs at your regular rate. Extra money yes, extra money at 1.5 time your hourly rate, no.

      From the department of labor:
      Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.

      1. Reader*

        Interesting point and I have found a posting (2003) that agrees. Paid time off is not considered work for the purposes of paying overtime.

    3. Reader*

      My examples are for the purpose of explaining pay week and working on Saturday.
      If the pay week ends Friday working the Saturday after a day off would be in the following pay week and the employee would have 48 hours for that week.
      If the pay week ends Saturday then working the Saturday after the day off would give them 40 hours and no overtime.

      My first line should have said “yes you MAY HAVE TO pay overtime for the Saturday.

    4. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Typically PTO is not calculated into overtime. Overtime is based on hours worked, not hours paid. I don’t know of any state where that’s not true.

      1. doreen*

        It’s not unusual for overtime to be based on hours paid rather than hours worked- but it’s due to either employer policy or a union contract rather than being a legal requirement.

  14. sally*

    #3 I’ve had that happen and it’s INCREDIBLY annoying. I hate that employers string along external candidates then dump us like rocks when someone internal decides they want the job.

    If it happens again with the second job I would tell the recruiter that that company is off your list of potential employers. YOUR time is valuable as well!

    1. Colette*

      Choosing to hire someone else is not a personal insult, or a sign of disrespect. You can choose to no longer apply there, but that hurts you more than anyone else.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Sally, why? There’s always a chance a stronger candidate will come along and get the job, even when you’re the frontrunner and have been told they’re close to making you an offer. That’s not a slight.

      1. krisl*

        There are a number of people who have commented on this blog about getting chosen for a job on their 3rd or 4th try to get a job at a company.

      2. Episkey*

        I think part of the reason why it feels even more upsetting is that, often, internal candidates have PLENTY of time to throw their hat in the ring. When they fail to do so before external candidates have been brought in, interviewed, and are at the offer stage — and THEN decide they want to try for the job — I personally feel it’s unfair and the company should tell the internal candidate that they have already decided to go with someone externally and that, in the future, they need to apply sooner/when the position is posted internally/etc.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          You’ve got to remember, though, that an employer’s job isn’t to create a perfectly fair hiring process; it’s to make the hire that makes the most sense for them. There are lots of reasons why hiring the internal person might have been the better decision, and it wouldn’t be wise to refuse to hire them just because they threw their hat in late. For all we know, the company might have been thrilled that they were interested, or excited to have the chance to reward a great existing employee, or simply thought they were a surer bet.

          1. Episkey*

            I understand. I know the hiring process isn’t necessarily fair, and I deserved that response.

            My line of thinking is more that — at least in the situations that I’ve been witness to — the company that is hiring initially posts an open position internally. If no one is interested OR the interested parties are deemed not qualified enough — THEN the position is posted externally for candidates or referrals from existing employees for external candidates are taken.

            I feel that once the company begins the process of hiring externally, the time for internal candidates to come forward has passed, except in extenuating circumstances. And honestly, I think if I was a hiring manger for a position and an internal candidate came forward at just about the time I was prepared to make an offer to an external candidate, I’d be pretty annoyed at that person. Because now they’ve wasted my time and presumably other people in the company’s time by having to weed through external candidate resumes, selecting external candidates, bringing them in for interviews, decision making processes, etc. When if they’d expressed interest when the position was posted internally, none of the above would have even had to be done.

            If they didn’t have some kind of compelling reason for not coming forward when the position was posted internally, I don’t think I would consider them. Perhaps that makes me wrong.

            Now if the company posts open positions both internally & externally at the same time, maybe I would have a different reaction.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Many companies do post internally and externally at the same time. But even if they don’t, hiring is about getting the best person for the job in the long-term — not about standing on principle, which I think is what you’re describing here.

        2. fposte*

          But when I’m hiring, my priority is to do what’s best for the organization, not the fairest thing to external applicants. I try to treat all applicants as fairly as possible during the process, but it wouldn’t make any sense for me to select a candidate who wasn’t my first choice. I get that it’s upsetting, but it’s not unfair in hiring terms; when you get in line doesn’t give you any additional rights to the job.

          And the OP didn’t even get offered the job. If she’d had a formal offer, I’d be giving the company a bigger side-eye (though these things still do happen), but she didn’t–the job was no more hers than anybody else’s. It’s understandably frustrating not to get a job that excites you, but she really wasn’t treated shabbily here by the organization’s choice to hire somebody other than her.

        3. MK*

          You are sort-of assuming that the internal candidate didn’t apply right from the start for no other reason than to screw with the other candidates. In most cases there would be valid reasons for the delay. Also, you are arguing that the company should lie to the internal candidate (in the OP’s case at least, they hadn’t even decided yet, much less informed the external candidate) and refuse to consider them just to teach them a lesson for applying late. That makes no sense from their perspective, since they want the best person for the job.

          What you propose would be the right thing to do, if they had made the OP or someone else an offer; when the decision was still in the air, they had every right to consider whoever they wanted.

        4. Sunshine*

          So what if it was an external candidate that applied at the last minute and was chosen for the position? Managers are obligated to make the decision that is best for the company – they don’t owe it to any candidate to give them a job. And that doesn’t mean the decision is always easy – it always sucks to have to turn down the front-runners. But that’s just the way it is.

          The only one hurt by holding a grudge is the grudge holder. I can assure you, the company won’t feel a thing.

          1. nep*

            +1 that last line
            (By the way, we don’t know all the factors that went into this employer’s decision (or the internal candidate’s actions). Some people seem quick to assume malice here. In any case, as many have said so well, it’s about the best strategic move for the organisation / company.)

  15. Mimmy*

    #3 – I think it’s natural to feel wronged–I’ve had that happen to me too…I’m sure we all have at one time or another.

    But please consider applying for this new vacancy. The company clearly sees you as a strong candidate, otherwise, the original HM wouldn’t have advocated to have you come back to interview for it. Having said that, this is still an interview (that’s how I’m interpreting it); it is NOT a guarantee that you’ll get an offer. Rock the interview as you did the first time, and your chances are good–but if they still choose another candidate, move on.

  16. Sophiabrooks*

    At my university, non-exempt employees who work overtime are allowed, the following week to take unpaid time equivilent to time and a half (but not forced to). So if you worked an extra 8 hours, you could take 12 hours off the next week and get one big paycheck and one little paycheck, and the department still would balance the budget.

    Maybe something like that, backwards, would work for #4 if you want to be accommodating?

    1. Cassie*

      Wouldn’t both paychecks be the same, though? For the first week, you work 48 hours but are paid 40 hours. For the second week, you work 32 hours but are paid 40 hours.

      I did a quick google search and it looks like comp time instead of paid overtime is NOT an option for private employers (non-public sector)?

      1. Anonymous*

        Actually, for the first week you are paid 40 hours straight time and 8 hours overtime. The second week you are paid for 28 hours. I think that is how it is not comp time. You are paid for exactly the hours worked each week, but the budget is still balanced.

        1. Cassie*

          Oh, I see – I thought Sophiabrooks was talking about how comp time worked and how it could be used instead of paying for overtime. Oops.

          For us, taking unpaid time off (as in the second week of the example) is very rare and may be complicated when it comes to benefits deductions and such. If you are paid weekly, and you don’t earn enough in the 2nd week to cover all the deductions, you may have to pay for it out of pocket. Probably wouldn’t be an issue if you are paid every two weeks or monthly (since it would likely even out).

      2. Sunshine*

        I think comp time is ok for non-exempt positions, it just has to equal what they would get for paid OT (i.e., time and a half). So if they work 8 hours over, they are owed for 12 hours – in either pay or time off.

  17. Persephone Mulberry*

    #4 (and the ensuing PTO discussions) make me extremely appreciative of my employer’s PTO policy. We can take PTO in any increment, which is apparently rare enough. But in addition, if we make up the time in the same week, the PTO gets put back in our bank.

    1. Megan*

      Our organization does that too. We can always flex lunches for appointments, and this week I took a half day Wednesday but made up for it by working late a few other days. I like to save my PTO when I can!

      Our time sheets have a box to check to “apply overtime to PTO/sick time” and I use it every time.

  18. doreen*

    #2 could be related to #4. There are certain titles and positions in my agency that require “flexible” schedules due to the nature of the work. Those employees set their weekly schedule based on their work, and if they need to work over the weekend or at night they will be off during normal working hours at some point. It’s very easy for these employees to come in an hour late due to a appointment and make it up later or take Monday off because they are working Saturday . No one would even know whether workload or personal needs were driving the scheduling. Other employees have jobs that require standard office hours. It generally wouldn’t be a problem if they worked 9-5 instead of 8-4 once in a while, but at one point, they were frequently requesting changes in their schedule that made no sense for their job – it was as if the receptionist wanted to work 4 to midnight one day or take Monday off and make it up Saturday. They can still adjust their schedule for an hour or two without charging leave – but now it’s enough of a hassle (requiring detailed notes and human intervention) to get the timesheet system to accept it that people don’t often don’t bother and just charge the leave.

  19. some1*

    ” On the other hand, I am afraid that I will end up wasting my time meeting the new team and find that they don’t like me or I don’t like them.”

    This is the same risk for any job interview, though. Yes, it sucks to get all prepared for an interview and find out only once you get there that you don’t want the position at all, but I know it’s happened to me and probably a lot of other people.

  20. Episkey*

    #3 — The same exact thing happened to my husband. The hiring manager even gave him a verbal offer and told him they just needed HR to finalize the paperwork. Lo & behold, an internal candidate decided to come forward literally 1-2 days before my husband had the offer in writing. They gave the position to the internal candidate. It sucked. My husband was crushed. You’re probably going to hear a lot of “you don’t have a reason to be bitter” from commenters here, but I totally understand the sentiment.

    1. Episkey*

      PS, OP #3 — I will say that even though, at the time, the entire situation was upsetting & disappointing — it all worked out OK. My husband was offered a position at a different company about 2 months after this all went down — better commute & more salary. My husband ended up really liking the company & all of his co-workers and manager. He has now been there for a little over 2 years, has been promoted to management, and he would probably classify it as his favorite job ever. Take consolation, sometimes these things happen for a reason.

    2. MK*

      What happened to your husband is most certainly not what happened to the OP. OP states clearly that she did not receive an offer, that the hiring manager said (according to the recruiter) that he needed to consult the CFO before making a decision. Which is why most commenters say that the OP has no reason to be bitter; no one would argue that a rescinded offer is a different matter.

      1. Episkey*

        I suppose, I guess I can just put myself in the OP’s position and I can imagine it probably sounded like, if perhaps not a true verbal offer, at the least a strong nod towards being offered the position. I know I am probably biased because of what happened to my husband, but I’m imagining the hiring manger presenting it as more of a formality — that he just needed to discuss the offer with the CFO, but insinuating it would be forthcoming. I just feel like it sucks and it’s OK to feel upset by the suckiness of the situation.

        1. MK*

          Well, “imagining” is the key word here. You seem to be projecting what happened to your husband on the OP’s situation; the Op did not have a verbal offer, even a tentative one, nor was it even suggested that the cosultation with the CFO was a formality. All the OP knew was that she did great in the interview and so was a strong candidate and even that information came from the recruiter, who might have been overly enthusiastic. It’s probable that the OP was one of the two or three top candidates, it’s even possible that she was the hiring manager’s top choise, but the company didn’t do anything to encourage the OP to think the job was in the bag.

    3. fposte*

      I also think people can easily understand being upset about it; that’s not the same thing as believing that the company behaved badly.

      1. EngineerGirl*

        This. There’s a huge difference between feeling sad that you didn’t get the job Vs. feeling angry you didn’t get the job.

  21. Jake*


    That is actually a very common policy in some industries. Construction generally has one of two policies for time off for non-exempt workers, 1. You don’t get PTO and you don’t get paid if you aren’t at work (common for Union contractors) and 2. the policy you outlined (common for non-Union contractors).

    I don’t know if it is the case for you, but oftentimes workers can’t be productive during the “off” hours.

  22. Anon*

    #2: I worked for an employer with the exact same policy. It began to be enforced after I found out that I had been made exempt (with no notice or pay increase) and questioned what exemption I was filed under, since I was an entry-level employee on the production floor making no independent business decisions. My boss justified it by pointing to a rule in the employee handbook saying that non-exempt employees cannot make up missed hours – which was obviously a rule intended to stop employees from making up missed hours on other days which would be paid at 1.5x OT, but it was used to force me to take 15 minutes of PTO if I ran late in traffic instead of a 45 minute lunch break. I’m wondering if there are misclassified employees in your organization and this is a way to stop them from speaking up? Soooo many exempt employees actually shouldn’t be.

    1. LCL*

      We have the same policy for non-exempt employees with regard to leave. I became very unpopular with a couple people when I started enforcing it. But our company has very generous leave benefits, and specific work hours per labor agreement, so I don’t think it is a harsh policy. The only people this strict policy hurts is those who can’t manage their leave because they always have some personal crisis that requires their immediate attention and absence from work.

      1. #2 OP*

        The non-exempt status is something I should find out. The PTO was brought to my attention by my manager, who had to explain this to our entire department. There were one team member with medical problems who often was out in the morning, worked through lunch, or left early. It did feel like it was a punishment to the entire team for one person over-using their PTO.

  23. Ruffingit*

    I’m not getting the holding a grudge over a job you didn’t get thing. Rather than hold a grudge, how about putting that energy into your pursuits of other jobs? What would a grudge actually do for you and how does it make any sense given this is business, not personal? And arguably, even if it was personal, I wouldn’t suggest holding a grudge even then since they are generally counterproductive to emotional well-being.

    Frankly, that post reads with a lot of entitlement in it as well and I’m not understanding that either. Life is going to be very, very hard in the working world if this is the way you choose to operate. Clearly, you’re an excellent candidate having done so well in the interviews. Take that as the good thing it is and move forward rather than feeling bitter/angry at this job and these people.

  24. TamaraLea*

    #2 – Policies are driven by management and written and distributed by HR, so you should ask your manager. My guess is that applying PTO will discourage people from not sticking to their standard schedule. Possibly employees were using the freedom to use make up time as a way to skirt the punctuality policy (long lunches, arriving late, etc.), and the managers did not want to deal with it anymore.

  25. Elizabeth West*

    #3–holding a grudge because you didn’t get the position

    Don’t do that. It’s useless and will only damage you. If the hiring manager still wants you to work there enough to advocate for you to be hired into this other position, I would be as open-minded as I can toward it. You said this would be a good company to work for, right? Then let the other thing go, seriously. I got my job after I interviewed and was rejected for a different position at my company, and it’s a much better fit for me than that first position would have been. So it could turn out great, you never know. Use the second interview to find out as much as you can about the alternate position. It could be the exact thing you need to build your career.

  26. Employment Lawyer*

    4. Do I have to pay overtime on make-up days?

    I have an employee who is paid an hourly rate and who has been working for only 2 months and is now asking for two personal days off. She suggested for me that I allow her to make the two days up on a Saturday. If I accept, would I have to pay her overtime for these two Saturdays she works to make up her lost hours?

    If working those Saturdays brings her over 40 hours in that week, then yes — even though it’s to make up for time off earlier. Overtime law doesn’t care why someone works more than 40 hours in a week; it just wants them paid overtime for those hours.

    I think that you’re asking about mandatory time-and-a-half pay, not overtime….?

    As AAM notes, OT is OT, and if you work over 40 hours then you need to pay the OT rate unless the employee is exempt. OT cannot be waived.

    That also generally applies to high-paid time. in Massachusetts, for example, some retail employees get automatic time and a half on Sundays, even if they do not exceed 40 hours/week. Like actual OT, that pay increase cannot usually be waived.

  27. Jules*

    My husband had jobs before he took 4 years of hitus overseas. He included all the jobs and explained the 4 years in interview. But his previous jobs were related to what he was applying for.

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