Re: Hourly vs. Salaried

Subject: Re: Hourly vs. Salaried
From: quills -at- airmail -dot- net
To: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Parcell, Michelle" <Michelle_Parcell -at- g1 -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 20:16:34 -0600

At 1:21 PM -0500 1/17/06, Bill Swallow wrote:

> My company was recently acquired and we're going through the growing pains of assimilating to their HR systems, among other things. My manager was recently told by the new powers that be that we writers should be hourly rather than salaried, which was a huge surprise to us (since we've always been salaried). My manager thinks there may be legal reasons for this and that the government may have defined what we do as being an hourly-type job (to ensure we are paid OT). I was wondering if there were many of you who were hourly or if anyone has had to "defend" being a salaried employee.

Man, if only I were hourly and eligible for OT... I'd be retired by now! ;-)

This question comes up every once in a while, and to save you some
dumpster diving, here's the gist that comes out of these discussions:

It depends. ;-)

Basically, you need to look at the pros and cons of both sides and
determine what's best for your group. And of course, if this is a
blanket mandate, you may have no other option but to comply.

My personal advice is to review the hourly policy prior to signing
anything (you should need to sign something... I don't think they can
legally change your work status without signed agreement, but I could
be wrong). Make sure there is a guaranteed minimum hours (so they
don't turn around and say on Monday afternoon "well, there's not much
work left, so don't bother coming in for the rest of the week" ...
yes, this is a stretch, but do look into this), there isn't a cap you
hit and then get unpaid OT, and so forth. Basically, do your CYA

In the end, it may turn out that they want you hourly because they
want to track their non-billable work and ensure everyone's working
hard and intelligently toward the end goal, and be able to easily see
via payroll auditing where more people are needed. Just trying to
throw some sunshine into all this.

But I'd argue that going hourly isn't inherently bad. It could be a blessing.

I am much more cynical than Bill. I find that most changes are to a perceived benefit to the company, usually a short-term benefit. After all, if a company actually followed their personnel policies, don't you think that there would actually be demonstrable leadership?

When MBNA started gearing up to be sold, they reduced the hourly rates of all contractors by 10%, twice in 3 years. This in a company whose real work was done by contract programmers. Perceived short-term gain. Of course, they treated all of their contractors as pond scum, so I guess they really were true to their personnel policies. Contract employees were not "people". Only the full and part-time employees were "people". This attitude was reflected from management down to the rank and file.


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Hourly vs. Salaried: From: Parcell, Michelle
Re: Hourly vs. Salaried: From: Bill Swallow

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