Time requests, bonuses and paychecks


General Business

Ask the Experts

An employee let us know that he got a part-time job and would like to change his hours. Should we change their schedule?

No. An employee who wants to change their hours because they got a second job is not something you have to accommodate. Even then, we don’t recommend immediately giving the employee an ultimatum to continue working on their current schedule or to quit. Instead, we suggest talking to your employee about the different options to see what you can make work. They may have some schedule flexibility with their new job. One of their colleagues in your organization may be willing to change or swap shifts. There may also be additional shifts within your organization that the employee could work instead of seeking additional income elsewhere.

If you exhaust those options and still aren’t able to go along with the employee’s requested schedule change, you may need to simply say no to the employee and let them decide what to do.

A new employee told her colleagues that she had received a signing bonus. Now co-workers are upset, saying they have been here longer and got nothing more. What should I do in this situation?

First, don’t berate the new employee who shared her salary information. Discussing pay is a concerted activity protected under national labor relations law. You can read about this law and the protections it offers to employees on the platform.

Second, it may be worth thinking about why you offer signing bonuses but not retention bonuses, and whether you can afford to do both. If you’re offering hiring bonuses because it’s hard to hire right now, be aware that not offering matching retention bonuses can ultimately lead to more open positions if your long-term employees decide to leave. of such inequalities. Also, be aware that offering one type of bonus but not the other could create pay disparities between employees doing similar work, which could expose you to discrimination and pay equity claims. .

Third, be transparent about salary decisions, if any. Sharing your reasoning with employees can bring clarity and understanding, helping to avoid surprises and speculation.

An employee let us know that his salary was insufficient. Can we wait to pay the difference on their next check?

Do not wait. If the employee has been underpaid, it is in your best interest to pay the difference to the employee immediately. Wages are due on the regular payday for the covered pay period, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. State law may also apply. When an error occurs that results in an underpayment, the employer is technically in violation of the law, even if it was a system error or caused by an employee’s timing error.

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