What are the laws surrounding changing a job description?
I was curious if someone could shed some light on the legalities of a company changing a person's job description to suit their needs more accurately for me?
For some context/a better example:
The job offer I signed and returned for the company I currently work for outlined a 35 hour work week, with four days working from home, at a set salary (nice, right?). However, I've been regularly working 45-50 hours each week with no extra compensation since the company believes that this is how a salary position works. It was recently brought up in a company wide meeting that it was becoming common for EVERYONE in my department to be doing these kinds of hours more and more frequently. Some stated that it wasn't an issue since it wasn't as regular for them, but everyone expressed concern that it was becoming expected, and that it may be time to hire an additional person.
The reply from above was unbudging disagreement, stating that any employee should be willing to work weekends and evenings to get their job done, regardless of the number of additionals hours (none of which should be compensated for). As a counter, some started to refer to their job agreements/descriptions as reference, and management replied that they would simply rewrite them to fit the new norm of 45-50 hours each week.
I understand that a company's needs can change, and that descriptions can be rewritten. I absolutely agree with the practice when the company evolves and has needs to be filled, or when a department is removed and duties are absorbed by others. This however, seemed outrageous to me, and I was curious about it's legality?
John ...I would recommend that you review the various links in these two Google searches (http://bit.ly/1xx9t0E and http://bit.ly/1xxbt9c) especially the first link Fair Labor Standards Act from the first search. The second link is about changing job descriptions.
According the FLSA there are 3 criteria to determine whether or not an employee is exempt. An exempt employee is one who makes a minimum salary over $23,600 and performs exempt executive, professional or administrative job duties. The keyword is salary.
If you are an exempt employee you have absolutely no rights to overtime pay.
If you and your colleagues believe you are being mistreated you have two options: all leave and find new jobs at a different company or contact the local labor board office and discuss the situation with them.
An option might be becoming independent contractors but then you open up a whole other can of worms as spelled out in this IRS document. http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Defined
I almost smiled when I read this question. As someone with background in both HR and law, I can tell you, you guys aren't the only ones facing this problem. It's actually disturbing how common it is, but companies do re-write job descriptions fairly often to suit the changing business requirements. Most even put in the Contract of Employment or JD "All other tasks as required by the management/company according to the needs of a project/business" or "The job description of the incumbent may change as their role establishes and grows in the business".
It may not sound fair...actually it's not fair at all...but if you take a legal stance on the change of details in your job description, the company can very easily say Look John here's the job that we have available at present, we are offering you to take it and continue your employment here. If you'd like not to take this job then we're sorry but the position you were working for is no longer available in the company we're gonna have to let you go. Legally it's absolutely okay for a company to close a position that the business no longer requires and open a similar position that is better suited to their needs.
I think one thing you should do is keep track of your 'Actual Worked Hours' by maintaining perhaps an excel sheet if you don't have an Office Automation System. Exactly how much time was spent on each task. So in a month you can show that I worked X number of hours on Task A and Look Mr. Manager, there's no way this task can be done in less time so Im not 'going-slow'. I guess if enough employees do this documentation they may reconsider revising the salaries with the hours.
true.. when you work extra, you should be paid extra.. but
when you bring legalities in this as a right.. then there has many variation.. The Department/Company can say that you were not efficient to finish the job within the time and so you are putting extra time. becoz human labour has variation.. So, there is no set norms for that.. 35 hours per week is the minimum to earn a salary.. per maximum is not told..
You can still talk to HRD in this matter.. as an employee, you have choice to quit..
"been regularly working 45-50 hours each week with no extra compensation" <-- working with no compensation became illegal after a nasty civil war!!
On a more detailed note:
It all depends on your contract with the employer and circumstances. I used to work 15 hours per day as a full time employee with no extra compensation, but it was voluntary because I enjoyed taking care of my clients and enjoyed the work environment. The employer offset that with generous vacation packages.
My recommendation is that you treat the original job description as a contract. Work the hours they require you (keep track) so that you don't burn bridges, but then ask for reasonable "comp hours" or even shares or bonuses from the company (if an option). Disclaimer: this is not a legal advice, just my personal thoughts. The decision is yours :)