Author Topic: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?  (Read 1628 times)

JustTrying

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Sorry, this is a long one. Thanks to all who read through and share their thoughts!

I am an "advanced practitioner" (intentionally being non-specific here). Essentially I work at a hospital, I see patients, but I am not a physician and I don't get paid like a physician (I make just above 6 figures).

I'm about 5 years to lean FIRE, and there are good things about my job, such as:
- I feel I am compensated fairly.
- I work just 4 days per week.
- I'm well-respected.

There are also bad things about my job including:
- It's a very emotionally draining job.
- My employer asks us every year to do more with less. (To be fair, that's healthcare reform).
- I'm just super burnt out.

So, I've already been struggling with my job, but intended to make it to lean FIRE before I quit.

Here's what's happening now: All hospitals in the US are struggling right now to stay afloat, including mine. I personally am seeing just as many patients as I've ever seen, except I have to see them all virtually, which is more emotionally draining than seeing them live. Yet, despite me doing the same amount of work, we're losing money. Today my boss called a meeting, sat us down and told us that she has to go to a meeting with the higher-ups tomorrow and she has to present a plan telling them what our clinic is doing to help our hospital stay alive. She tells us that her plan is essentially this: We will work our same hours and see the same number of patients, but we will be forced to take 8 hours per every two weeks as paid time off. (Even though we are working those hours). I'm in absolute shock during the meeting and say nothing. After the meeting is over I realize: No. I can't do it. I'm already burnt out. I'm already giving all that I'm willing to give. I already have a vacation booked for November that I'd have to cancel if I gave up my PTO. Because I'm so burnt out, I really feel that vacation is needed for my sanity. (I also can't figure out why taking away my PTO is going to help the budget at all, but that's just a side note....)

I would have liked to have gone home and thought things over before talking to my boss, but she told us the plan less than 24 hours before she planned to present it to the higher-ups so I feel that if I'm going to speak up, I must do it now. So I go to her and tell her that this sacrifice is too much for me personally, and that if we move forward with this plan, I will be seeking employment elsewhere. (I did not say I would quit, I said I'd have to actively seek out other options). She's shocked, horrified, and explains that if we all give up some PTO we can *possibly* avoid lay-offs. She also then explains that they can't actually force me to give up my PTO, but that the whole team is planning on giving there's up. She basically tells me that I can stay and keep my PTO, but that I shouldn't really tell anyone (because it wasn't presented as optional until I told her I didn't want to do it, and I'm afraid she doesn't want anyone else to know!!!!). She tells me that it would really be nice if I'd give it up because someone could lose their job, and giving up my PTO might help them avoid losing their job. She also points out that it's not a great sign that I'm so willing to give up my job (I think she meant this mostly to say that she would like it if I loved my job more, and I actually do think it came from a place of kindness). I explain that time is more important to me than money and I'd rather furlough one day per week, or take a pay cut over giving up my PTO. She doesn't seem inspired by either of these ideas but seems very disappointed in me that I don't want to give up my PTO.

So...Am I the a**hole because I don't want to give up my vacation to possibly save the job of someone else?
Is my employer being kind of manipulative so perhaps I should go look for a new job regardless of their plan?
Should I give up my PTO like everyone else is doing?
Should I quietly keep my PTO and slog out another 5 years till I can make it to FI?
Should I give them just a little bit of PTO?
Should I refuse to give my PTO but then once again offer to take a pay cut?

I'd love your thoughts including the reasoning behind your opinion.

All thoughts welcome. I feel like a bomb's just been dropped and I don't know what's up or down.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3275
  • Age: 82
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2020, 11:57:42 PM »
NTA

You may want to submit this to Ask A Manager, because a boss telling their workers (exempt or non exempt) to take PTO but still required to work is likely breaking all kinds of employment laws.

No employer has to give you any PTO, but it's very unlikely they can tell you to take it but expect you to do full days of work. Every single thing I googled about accrued PTO states it is illegal for them to try to claw it back and even if you quit/get fired, they have to pay you for it. So that's pretty crappy if your boss is making it sound like this is mandatory to the rest of the team. And I imagine it's illegal as hell to tell an employee, give us your already accrued PTO and ALSO work off the clock? Even if you're exempt, this is shitty. They're asking you to PAY THEM (with your earned PTO) AND work the same hours. WTF?

If you don't have time to get an answer from someone that is qualified, I would probably do the right thing here for the entire group and tell her that she may want to make sure with HR/employment lawyer that it is legal to tell employees they must work/donate back already accrued PTO. Come from a place of concern and want to be helpful: "I just want to make sure we don't get the company into further trouble. I don't think it's legal to take away accrued PTO, and in the meeting your phrasing made it sound like this was not a choice. If it is optional, you may want to make it very clear to everyone. And I'm also really unsure if requiring someone to take PTO but still perform their full work schedule/duties is also strictly legal either."

I find it suspicious that the rest of the team is totally on board, especially if you just talked to her right after she surprised the team with this, and she's doing it the following day? When did the rest of them express their acceptance/approval of this plan then? Think she's lying to cover her ass and get you to feel guilty if you don't go along with it. If she's lied/misled the rest of the team that this IS mandatory, she's a terrible boss and you should mention to any of them you are good friends with that this PTO "donate" thing is optional. If they ask what you're planning on doing, you can always tell them "manager asked me not to share" and leave it at that. ;)

But I'm by no means an expert here, so you may want to just tell her "sorry, but this won't work for me" and also start looking at what your options are for finding a new job elsewhere.

If you work at a hospital in any capacity and it's doing so poorly right now that they are okay with LOSING medical staff, then you definitely should look around at what is out there.

JustTrying

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 12:15:40 AM »
Oh wow, I appreciate all of your thoughts. The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I feel about the situation. Do you know of anyone whose hiring ;)

reeshau

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 886
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2020, 01:07:01 AM »
I agree with @Frankies Girl  on this, and would add that it also doesn't make sense, legality aside.  I'm inferring that your boss is looking at PTO because it is accounted for differently somehow--benefits vs. wages, or some "pre-funded" allowance at the beginning of the fiscal year.  But as long as you are still getting a full paycheck, then that cash is still coming from the company accounts, and her higher ups, who are thinking cash flow / liquidity, will see no effect.

Your suggestions are the normal courses of action, with many companies announcing variations of either: temporary layoffs (TLO) or temporary pay reductions,  Yes, both are ways to avoid permanent layoffs.  The former, though, requires a reduction in stsff:  you're laid off, you don't work.  (Which is a requirement for you to apply for unemployment benefits or have your employer do that and flow through payroll)  The latter is the morale hit / shared sacrifice that her tone seems to imply she thinks she is doing.

But what your boss seems to be trying to do is both "accounting magic" and likely illegal.

oneday

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3780
  • Location: SF Bay Area, USA
  • Knit, bike, breathe. Repeat. - 94
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2020, 01:32:54 AM »
I agree with @Frankies Girl  on this, and would add that it also doesn't make sense, legality aside.  I'm inferring that your boss is looking at PTO because it is accounted for differently somehow--benefits vs. wages, or some "pre-funded" allowance at the beginning of the fiscal year.  But as long as you are still getting a full paycheck, then that cash is still coming from the company accounts, and her higher ups, who are thinking cash flow / liquidity, will see no effect.

Your suggestions are the normal courses of action, with many companies announcing variations of either: temporary layoffs (TLO) or temporary pay reductions,  Yes, both are ways to avoid permanent layoffs.  The former, though, requires a reduction in stsff:  you're laid off, you don't work.  (Which is a requirement for you to apply for unemployment benefits or have your employer do that and flow through payroll)  The latter is the morale hit / shared sacrifice that her tone seems to imply she thinks she is doing.

But what your boss seems to be trying to do is both "accounting magic" and likely illegal.

I disagree with the bold.  If JustTrying works 3 weeks in November and has a week of vacation (even assuming it's the Thanksgiving holiday week), then the higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks, but they'll pay out 4 weeks of salary.  However if they donate their PTO back to the company, higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks and pay out a matching 3 weeks of salary.  While it doesn't increase revenue, it decreases cash flow in the future.

Higher-ups tend to look less at individual line items and more at overall numbers; JustTrying's boss has likely been tasked at cutting a certain $ from their budget and might be making the decision to cut certain line items.

@JustTrying I'll echo advice to find out if this is legal; push back against your boss; consult with HR; let coworkers you are friendly with know as much as you are willing to share; start looking for other employment.  Do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

reeshau

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 886
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2020, 02:11:12 AM »
I agree with @Frankies Girl  on this, and would add that it also doesn't make sense, legality aside.  I'm inferring that your boss is looking at PTO because it is accounted for differently somehow--benefits vs. wages, or some "pre-funded" allowance at the beginning of the fiscal year.  But as long as you are still getting a full paycheck, then that cash is still coming from the company accounts, and her higher ups, who are thinking cash flow / liquidity, will see no effect.

Your suggestions are the normal courses of action, with many companies announcing variations of either: temporary layoffs (TLO) or temporary pay reductions,  Yes, both are ways to avoid permanent layoffs.  The former, though, requires a reduction in stsff:  you're laid off, you don't work.  (Which is a requirement for you to apply for unemployment benefits or have your employer do that and flow through payroll)  The latter is the morale hit / shared sacrifice that her tone seems to imply she thinks she is doing.

But what your boss seems to be trying to do is both "accounting magic" and likely illegal.

I disagree with the bold.  If JustTrying works 3 weeks in November and has a week of vacation (even assuming it's the Thanksgiving holiday week), then the higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks, but they'll pay out 4 weeks of salary.  However if they donate their PTO back to the company, higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks and pay out a matching 3 weeks of salary.  While it doesn't increase revenue, it decreases cash flow in the future.

Higher-ups tend to look less at individual line items and more at overall numbers; JustTrying's boss has likely been tasked at cutting a certain $ from their budget and might be making the decision to cut certain line items.

@JustTrying I'll echo advice to find out if this is legal; push back against your boss; consult with HR; let coworkers you are friendly with know as much as you are willing to share; start looking for other employment.  Do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

To modify my statement, then:  it does nothing for the immediate crisis, which is Q2 cash flow.  I would expect most companies are prioritizing short-term savings, or even thinking of them exclusively.

Car Jack

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1705
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2020, 08:27:46 AM »
Every business is wrestling with how to continue with lower revenue due to Covid.  My industry has done various things and companies have dealt with it in different ways.  We make ICs.  Some things being done.
Execs get 20% pay cut.
indirect labor gets 10% pay cut.
Factory gets 5% pay cut and rotating time off (meaning unpaid time off every other Friday)
Other companies have had layoffs instead.
Some other companies have had 25% pay cuts.

I think you should look at it this way.....you're getting a pay cut, just like everyone else is.  If there's a better, less stress, higher paying job out there for you, then leave.  If not, suck it up and do what they want you to do.  It's not like you're being directly cut 30% in pay or something.  Companies really, really want PTO off the books.  My company zero's PTO at the end of each year.  If we don't use it, it's gone and no...we're not paid for the unused PTO...we simply lose it.

You say your burned out.  Ok.  Even a change to the same position somewhere else will give you some excitement and a honeymoon period.  Perhaps it will become enjoyable.  I know engineers who have been long time (over 20 years) with a clearly disfunctional company.  They leave and go to a "normal" culture company and I see them and it's like someone said "Hey, how about you just go to Disneyworld and ride the rides and see the attractions for your job".  Maybe you won't find this, but maybe you'll find something better.

I'm not a fan of lean FIRE.  To me, that's a plan to stop working, live like you're poor, try to leach off of society and then run out of money.  If you don't want to be a medical person anymore, Dominos Pizza has nationwide ads on TV looking for help.  Do that for a year.

Boll weevil

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2020, 09:56:27 AM »

I think you should look at it this way.....you're getting a pay cut, just like everyone else is.


Yes and no. They are being asked to work the same amount of hours but give up their vacation time, so basically one of their benefits is being reduced/eliminated. To me, thatís different from getting hours cut.

This may also set up an issue going forward if somebody starts an audit..  itís going to look like your billing patients even though the practitioner is not actually there. It wonít be fraud necessarily, but itís certainly going to look like it. 

The other thing is your boss may be setting everybody up for a big problem in the future in that your department will look a lot more efficient than it actually is, and youíre going to be asked to maintain or increase that efficiency going forward. Letís say your working 4 days x 10 hours a day = 40 hours a week. On paper, youíll be going from completing your tasks in 40 hours per week to completing your tasks in 36 hours a week, so going forward the administrators are going to expect you to maintain that efficiency, which never existed in the first place.

norajean

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2020, 11:36:25 AM »
Your boss is likely to be turned down by management and/or HR if the organization is large enough to warrant decent policies and leaders.  She is being chickens-shit and not wanting to fire anyone.  She needs to man-up and fire a few employees to save costs. This is a crisis.  You will probably be the first choice, which I assume is ok.

ebella

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 90
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2020, 11:52:42 AM »
Employment lawyer here:  yea forcing you to take PTO and still work is not ok. Not sure how you are paid, but, assuming you're salaried, it's not FLSA violation but it may violate your employment contract or employer's policies.  You're right to oppose it; if you are fired then it will look like retaliation.  And you should sue.

BabyShark

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
  • Location: Virginia
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2020, 12:25:29 PM »
Ooo I really don't like the guilting aspect of it either. "somebody could lose their job if you don't do what I ask."  I'd look elsewhere if possible regardless of what else you end up doing with the PTO.

JustTrying

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2020, 01:39:17 PM »
OP here. Thanks for all your thoughts.

RE: Taking a pay cut. If I could choose a way to help, if choose a furlough first, and a pay cut second. I just want to keep my PTO. I donít believe that I can take a pay cut unless our entire department does. I know that I can furlough, and if people give up their PTO, Iíll remind them again that Iím willing to furlough, but I want my PTO. It seems like they donít want me to furlough. I already offered it as an alternative to giving up my PTO, but I will reiterate it again if we go that way.

RE: Getting fired. Iím not at risk of being laid off. If anyone is laid off, it will be someone who doesnít make the hospital money (not a provider). Further, even if providers were laid off, Iím one of the top money-makers in the Department, Iím really good at my job, patient satisfaction scores are high, etc, etc.

Re: legalities. Yes, when I spoke individually with my boss she told me the PTO cuts would be voluntary. It was NOT presented that way in the meeting. They are not allowed to take away your PTO without your agreement, but I didnít know this until I spoke up.

All of your thoughts/all of my fuming has led me to the conclusion that I should offer what I am willing to do to be a team player (furlough), but stick firm with keeping my PTO, and should most certainly start looking for a new job. Itís not a great time to look for work, but thereís nothing wrong with seeing whatís out there. Further, you make a good point about the honeymoon period! 😊

Thanks everyone! Iím definitely open to more thoughts/advice!


Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4586
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2020, 02:19:15 PM »
I think AskAManager actually had something like this already. Couldn't find it, but did find this one which has something similar re PTO at least. I'd go looking through the archives for April.

https://www.askamanager.org/2020/04/the-end-of-open-offices-i-keep-missing-meetings-and-more.html


I would question the legality of working but using up PTO. If you need to do layoffs or furlough people, then so be it. Asking people to take PTO (and not work those days), I can see some situations where that makes sense.

swashbucklinstache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 297
  • Location: Midwest U.S.
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2020, 04:13:03 PM »
OP here. Thanks for all your thoughts.

RE: Taking a pay cut. If I could choose a way to help, if choose a furlough first, and a pay cut second. I just want to keep my PTO. I donít believe that I can take a pay cut unless our entire department does. I know that I can furlough, and if people give up their PTO, Iíll remind them again that Iím willing to furlough, but I want my PTO. It seems like they donít want me to furlough. I already offered it as an alternative to giving up my PTO, but I will reiterate it again if we go that way.

RE: Getting fired. Iím not at risk of being laid off. If anyone is laid off, it will be someone who doesnít make the hospital money (not a provider). Further, even if providers were laid off, Iím one of the top money-makers in the Department, Iím really good at my job, patient satisfaction scores are high, etc, etc.

Re: legalities. Yes, when I spoke individually with my boss she told me the PTO cuts would be voluntary. It was NOT presented that way in the meeting. They are not allowed to take away your PTO without your agreement, but I didnít know this until I spoke up.

All of your thoughts/all of my fuming has led me to the conclusion that I should offer what I am willing to do to be a team player (furlough), but stick firm with keeping my PTO, and should most certainly start looking for a new job. Itís not a great time to look for work, but thereís nothing wrong with seeing whatís out there. Further, you make a good point about the honeymoon period! 😊

Thanks everyone! Iím definitely open to more thoughts/advice!
I agree with this conclusion.

I'd also add this commentary:
1) Many hospitals are in a lot of trouble right now because they don't make money off of ICUs they make money off of surgery, often elective surgeries, which aren't happening. Money-making specialists within a department might not even be safe if the department isn't making money and they can't scale down to just those making a lot of money (a surgeon might share support staff and real estate with 5 other surgeons or the hospital makes their profit from post-op support etc.). I'm assuming OP knows this, but context for others. Again this isn't evil, this is a reality of social distancing. Hard to say too much more without knowing the exact specialty.
2) Often PTO comes from different accounting buckets. Depending on the company, especially if the hospital interacts with Medicare heavily, depleting this instead of regular operating funds can be a real source of liquidity.
3) Your manager sounds like they're uninformed of the law and stressed about having to lay people off right now and trying to be creative, rather than evil or nefarious. Doesn't change your next steps, but if you can act sternly but with kindness please do. Agree with above posters that HR or lawyers will squash this, but proper order of operations is simply to offer what you're comfortable with, if anything, and let them drive things that direction if it comes to it.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 07:25:59 PM by swashbucklinstache »

MoolahLula

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
  • Location: Moolastan
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2020, 04:41:18 PM »
I am not a lawyer but what sheís asking everyone to do sounds illegal to me.  I presume youíre not in a union?  I also presume you have real, marketable, in demand skills?  I think your best bet would be to find another position elsewhere and work until you feel you can FIRE, maybe take a small break in between for the burn out?  I would think after the COVID peak of cancelled elective surgeries and appointments by telehealth are over, the hospitals and doctors offices around me will be full of sickly people who overate/got depressed/got pregnant/danced too enthusiastically in their living rooms during quarantine and will need to be seen by medical professionals. 

JustTrying

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2020, 08:18:49 PM »
Thanks all!

Yes, I am salaried, so as such I'm required to work until the expectations are completed. Therefore, they are telling us that we CAN take the time off, but we still will have the same productivity expectations for the week...like robbing Peter to pay Paul. I could see more patients on different days and then take a day off, but in the end, I'd still end up working the same amount of hours in the week, because I'd have to stay later on the days I DO work. I have a young child, so staying later means I don't make it home to see her before bedtime. Because I want to see my kid during the week, I'd have to work the same schedule I'm working now, so if I agree to the deal, I'm just losing PTO with no change to my schedule.

My boss KNOWS that she can't take our PTO without permission. However, when they explained the plan to us in our meeting, it wasn't made clear that they were asking us to voluntarily "use up" our PTO while still doing the same amount of work. She told me that it was voluntary only when I sought her out to tell her how unacceptable I found the plan to be. I'm not sure anyone else knows that it's voluntary. It feels so gross.

I am not a lawyer but what sheís asking everyone to do sounds illegal to me.  I presume youíre not in a union?  I also presume you have real, marketable, in demand skills?  I think your best bet would be to find another position elsewhere and work until you feel you can FIRE, maybe take a small break in between for the burn out?  I would think after the COVID peak of cancelled elective surgeries and appointments by telehealth are over, the hospitals and doctors offices around me will be full of sickly people who overate/got depressed/got pregnant/danced too enthusiastically in their living rooms during quarantine and will need to be seen by medical professionals. 

MoolahLula, this is great advice. I am not in a union. I do have real, marketable in-demand skills, but I'm highly specialized so working in a different hospital would likely mean a cross-country move. However, at this point, my partner and I have agreed that there's no problem in sending my CV out and seeing what comes of it. Thanks for your thoughtful response!

Steeze

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 702
  • Age: 33
  • Location: NYC Area of Earth
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2020, 08:48:50 PM »
My office cut our hours and pay - but offered to let people take PTO to keep their pay at the same level. I asked the owner's why they would let us take PTO since short term cash flow is the main problem, and the majority of PTO is taken in December. They basically said that any PTO that has already accrued since January is already set aside in a separate account and is available to use and that future days that are not accrued cannot be used. They said they wouldn't be able to use the PTO that already accrued for any other expenses, so it might as well be used now if people need.

Asking people to take PTO and still work though is a bum deal though. You could always just start slacking off - take 20% less clients for a couple months and recharge your battery. You don't have to be a top performer 100% of the time. Everyone has the "pandemic = stress" line in their next performance review. If you get fired then you have the "fired due to budget cuts because Pandemic" excuse that everyone else will have too.

Dial it back, keep the cash flowing. That is my vote.


oneday

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3780
  • Location: SF Bay Area, USA
  • Knit, bike, breathe. Repeat. - 94
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2020, 12:45:10 AM »
I disagree with the bold.  If JustTrying works 3 weeks in November and has a week of vacation (even assuming it's the Thanksgiving holiday week), then the higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks, but they'll pay out 4 weeks of salary.  However if they donate their PTO back to the company, higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks and pay out a matching 3 weeks of salary.  While it doesn't increase revenue, it decreases cash flow in the future.

Higher-ups tend to look less at individual line items and more at overall numbers; JustTrying's boss has likely been tasked at cutting a certain $ from their budget and might be making the decision to cut certain line items.

@JustTrying I'll echo advice to find out if this is legal; push back against your boss; consult with HR; let coworkers you are friendly with know as much as you are willing to share; start looking for other employment.  Do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

To modify my statement, then:  it does nothing for the immediate crisis, which is Q2 cash flow.  I would expect most companies are prioritizing short-term savings, or even thinking of them exclusively.

JustTrying is not the only employee; undoubtedly the manager looked at either existing PTO requests for Q2, or an estimate of the normal amount of PTO requests for any given Q2 under normal circumstances. 

JustTrying or any other employee could spontaneously request any banked PTO to be used between now and June 30.

Kakashi

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2020, 11:21:39 PM »
Everyone's talking about OP in isolation.   I don't know the details of the work environment, but I suspect that the "team" aspect needs to be emphasized.  Mainly if it's true that all other providers are doing one thing, and then one individual puts their foot down and says "no", it's going to cause some ruckus.  Guaranteed. 
Or even if OP keeps it a secret, and at some point later it gets leaked, again...ruckus. 

I'll give an example.  We have one case manager that will stick strictly to her job duties.  Won't help out if it's outside of her specific job duties.  All other case managers are open and willing to help out outside their specific job duties.  The one case manager is "right" for sticking to her job duties and not doing other stuff.  That individual felt it on an  evaluation..."not team player" "not willing to be helpful", etc.  She was not on "par" with everyone else.

Frankly, in a situation like COVID and being a healthcare provider, where the expectation is to "give" so to speak, OP will be putting a target on her back.  Which since OP is already burnt out, will probably just add to it.

I'm not suggesting OP just go with it.  I'm just bringing up a dynamic no one else has mentioned.


pk_aeryn

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2020, 12:14:11 AM »
Agree with everyone that this is not ok and highly likely illegal.

OP, you say that youíre already burnt out. If your manager is insistent on getting PTO off the books, can you just volunteer to take vacation now? I realize that sucks in the sense of that you donít get to take your trip and itís not the vacation you planned for... but times are hard enough and it sounds like you could use a break.

Also, the script about letting her know itís illegal is very good. If she as a lowly manager has been asked to find cost savings, sheís probably struggling to come up with ideas - pthe company has put her in a shitty position, because, TBH, what company isnít already as lean as it can be???  I certainly hope she does not have the authority to do this and is shot down by HR.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 12:16:14 AM by pk_aeryn »

ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
Re: Is it time to pull out the FU money, or AITA, or something else?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2020, 01:03:21 AM »
I agree with @Frankies Girl  on this, and would add that it also doesn't make sense, legality aside.  I'm inferring that your boss is looking at PTO because it is accounted for differently somehow--benefits vs. wages, or some "pre-funded" allowance at the beginning of the fiscal year.  But as long as you are still getting a full paycheck, then that cash is still coming from the company accounts, and her higher ups, who are thinking cash flow / liquidity, will see no effect.

Your suggestions are the normal courses of action, with many companies announcing variations of either: temporary layoffs (TLO) or temporary pay reductions,  Yes, both are ways to avoid permanent layoffs.  The former, though, requires a reduction in stsff:  you're laid off, you don't work.  (Which is a requirement for you to apply for unemployment benefits or have your employer do that and flow through payroll)  The latter is the morale hit / shared sacrifice that her tone seems to imply she thinks she is doing.

But what your boss seems to be trying to do is both "accounting magic" and likely illegal.

I disagree with the bold.  If JustTrying works 3 weeks in November and has a week of vacation (even assuming it's the Thanksgiving holiday week), then the higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks, but they'll pay out 4 weeks of salary.  However if they donate their PTO back to the company, higher-ups will see billing of n clients x 3 weeks and pay out a matching 3 weeks of salary.  While it doesn't increase revenue, it decreases cash flow in the future.

Higher-ups tend to look less at individual line items and more at overall numbers; JustTrying's boss has likely been tasked at cutting a certain $ from their budget and might be making the decision to cut certain line items.

@JustTrying I'll echo advice to find out if this is legal; push back against your boss; consult with HR; let coworkers you are friendly with know as much as you are willing to share; start looking for other employment.  Do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

To modify my statement, then:  it does nothing for the immediate crisis, which is Q2 cash flow.  I would expect most companies are prioritizing short-term savings, or even thinking of them exclusively.

It removes a  debt from the books,. Which makes cash flow look better.

Apart from the accounting, requiring employees to work, but accounting for it as if they did not, does not seem legit from any level.