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Sania Marsh
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Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
I have seen many companies that make employees work 50-60 hrs/week but don't pay overtime, is it legal? If you make 8 employees work 1 hr. longer a day, you already saved one employee's salary + benefits. These companies usually don't offer better base salaries also.
I had a friend who was hired as junior programmer. He had to work about 10 hrs a day for half of the money he was suppose to get, on the top of that management would be dissapointed if he didn't show up to work on weekends. My friend ended up quitting, but people keep working there, why?
Would you work like that, knowing you are working more than others, yet you cannot even afford a good car?
I know you like what you do, but then you robably giving better service, right? so you should be paid better?
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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    6

This sounds like a post for Job Discussions. Moving it...


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Mark Herschberg
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Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
In the US (other countries may vary) it is perfect legal and not uncommon. People paid hourly wages get overtime after 40 hours a week (although the federal laws just changed about two weeks ago as to who is covered), but salaried employees are exempt.

--Mark
Dmitry Melnik
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Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
I have seen many companies that make employees work 50-60 hrs/week but don't pay overtime, is it legal?

IMHO it depends on their employment contract. But if in doubts -- ask your lawyer

My friend ended up quitting, but people keep working there, why?

Because they think that keeping work there is the best choice they currently have. They might lack some resources, or skills, or motivation to make a better choice. But sooner or later they will leave there one way or another. People get burnt out pretty quickly by working like that. Productivity drops, work attitude drops, they qet fired if not quit. People rotate pretty quickly in such an environment: get hired, get burnt out, get thrown away, GOTO step #1. It's a buiseness model.

Would you work like that, knowing you are working more than others, yet you cannot even afford a good car?

It depends. Can others afford a good car while working less than me?

I know you like what you do, but then you robably giving better service, right? so you should be paid better?

As you have noticed, there are employers for whom "better service" means "cheaper service". The cheaper, the better...
[ August 24, 2004: Message edited by: Dmitry Melnik ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Dmitry Melnik:

Because they think that keeping work there is the best choice they currently have. They might lack some resources, or skills, or motivation to make a better choice. But sooner or later they will leave there one way or another. People get burnt out pretty quickly by working like that. Productivity drops, work attitude drops, they qet fired if not quit. People rotate pretty quickly in such an environment: get hired, get burnt out, get thrown away, GOTO step #1. It's a buiseness model.


I happen to believe that you get burnt out and it's not th ebest way to run a group. There is evidence both ways. Plenty of people take 80-100/wk jobs on Wall St (for low pay if they're just out of school) or at startups, because they value the risk/reward sturcture differently than you may. I have friends who have worked such long hours for nearly decade--and they love it. That's what great about a free market, different opportunities for each and every person.

--Mark
Dmitry Melnik
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Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
Mark, there is no question that people (including myself) can and do work long hours for long time if they enjoy the process and motivated to do so. But I got the impression that situation described by Rita is quite different.
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Am I understanding this right? 80-100 hours a week?
I love computers, I can work sometimes 2 weeks straight sleeping 4-5 hrs a day, but at the end I'm in some way rewarded for that - I either submit my school project or make money so that I can go out.
You may say that for some people work itself is a reward, I would agree up to some limit it is, but say tomorrow you need to do $8000 dental work and you cannot afford it,but you could if you were with a normal employer. Would you still keep working without teeth and be happy?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
And they are rewarded, too. Associates at law firms get made partner, professors get tenure, wall st analysts get lucrative jobs earning 6-7 figures.

What about those in the peace corp, or who run shelters? Those aren't 9-5 jobs and aren't known for high pay. Legal aid oftn attracts some of the best and brightest law students, but the pay is the lowest in the industry. Some people are willing to make those sacrifices. Everyone draws the line differently.


Dmitry,
I got the impression she was just shocked at their value system. She thinks they are making bad choices. Perhaps they are, but it's their choice to make. There is nothing inherently illegal about what is happening (as was her initial concern).


--Mark
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
For many people (especially juniors) there is often little choice.
Either you do as you're told or you're out on the street without a job.
Unscrupulous employers know this and will exploit these people mercilessly, then fire them for some bogus reason when they start to show signs of burnout so as to avoid the cost of having a sick employee for a long time.

At least in this country there are strict rules about such practices, essentially making it illegal to force people to work more than 60 hours a week or so.
As to overtime, if you accept a contract that states overtime isn't compensated in any way you should know the risk you take.
My contract states any overtime is compensated either in money (with overtime being paid 125-200% normal rates depending on time and day of week) or in free time (time for time).
I wouldn't accept anything less myself, though I do accept a clause that says the overtime pay doesn't start until there have been at least 5 hours of overtime during any week of the month (and will then be applied to all hours of overtime for that month).
That way the company gets some flexibility if a job needs completing and it takes a few more hours while I get the assurance that if they make me work long hours I get fair compensation.


42
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Open source is a good example of getting no money for very high quality work.
Perhaps someday somebody will explain why they did it.


Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
Not all Open Source is high Quality.(I am not against Open Source).
I tried to install Red Hat 23 times.On 24th attempt,I got success(no change in laptop configuration)
Then on one bad day,it stopped working .
Then I tried to install Mandrake 6 times with no success.On 7th attempt,I got success.Then on another bad day,X server crashed .
What I got eevrytime is there is a hardware,CD failture etc etc.No precise error so that I could have corrected it.
I think Open Source is good for those who have worked before 1990s.i.e. more than 15 years of experience.
Now I will try Slackware.
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Arjun Shastry ]

MH
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
"Ten years ago, while a student at Moorhead State University, I posted this announcement on comp.os.linux, and the Slackware Linux distribution was born. It's hard to believe it's been a decade already! My deep appreciation goes out to Linus and all the Linux developers, RMS and GNU, and the many other people who have contributed to the Slackware project over the years who have made it all possible. It's been amazing (and fun) to watch how all of this has evolved."

Slackware is 11 years old now. Good luck!

Where would IBM be without Open Source ?
Dmitry Melnik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
Mark: I got the impression she was just shocked at their value system.

It is still to find out if it's their or their management's value system promoted forcefully on them.

She thinks they are making bad choices. Perhaps they are, but it's their choice to make.

It's their choice to make. But people learn by trying on other peolple's experiences.

There is nothing inherently illegal about what is happening (as was her initial concern).

...unless it's a breach of the employment contract.
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
But people learn by trying on other peolple's experiences.

That's probably why I asked, it's always interesting to get into someone's head. It is hard to believe someone would work like that seing that their boss is practically making money on their health.
It is not only money.. I understand those who volunteer.
But volunteering is like helping old woman do shopping, vs doing shopping for healthy and welthy guy for $1, and after that he will also ask you to wash his car for free.
Tina Desai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 365
well, this is common in India. Many will agree.
I worked for 10-12 hours a day including Saturdays for seven months.. till I resigned.
Tina


Alongwith being a good coder, try to be a good professional as well!
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Admittedly, now we'r just getting down to semnatics (I think you know that, too), but what the hell, it's been a slow couple of days for me... :-p

Originally posted by Dmitry Melnik:

It is still to find out if it's their or their management's value system promoted forcefully on them.


It's the employee's value system. If the employees valued things differently, they would quit. :-)


Originally posted by Dmitry Melnik:

...unless it's a breach of the employment contract.


That's not illegal; no one goes to jail. It's simply a breach of contract (and even then, state laws may nullify certain provisions in the contract.


--Mark
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Tina Desai:
well, this is common in India. Many will agree.
I worked for 10-12 hours a day including Saturdays for seven months.. till I resigned.
Tina


Try it for 7 years on the trot.
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Dmitry Melnik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
It is hard to believe someone would work like that seing that their boss is practically making money on their health.

Rita, are you sure that you are not overlooking certain hidden or potentian benefits for employees, which motivate them working like that? Like equity in the company, bonuses, performance based promotions, etc.
Vitor Belfort
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 30
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:


I happen to believe that you get burnt out and it's not th ebest way to run a group. There is evidence both ways. Plenty of people take 80-100/wk jobs on Wall St (for low pay if they're just out of school) or at startups, because they value the risk/reward sturcture differently than you may. I have friends who have worked such long hours for nearly decade--and they love it. That's what great about a free market, different opportunities for each and every person.

--Mark


People who love working like this for decades have no life and no time for personal development No matter how you spin it, going fishing on Sunday after working a 6 day weekend does not mean you have a life. I could sympathize with people that don't like to be tools and don't want to work like animals...
Tina Desai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 365
Dimitry, I never got a single penny more for any of the extra work in the 3.5 years of my exp! If u do not work for more hours, you are not 'flexible'. Simple!

Helen, u worked like that for seven years? That's something!

Tina
Dmitry Melnik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
Mark: Admittedly, now we'r just getting down to semnatics (I think you know that, too),

Yep.

That's not illegal; no one goes to jail. It's simply a breach of contract (and even then, state laws may nullify certain provisions in the contract.

Sigh... I keep forgetting that one can end up in a court and lose (even without going to jail) by doing things which are legal (like violating a contract).
[ August 26, 2004: Message edited by: Dmitry Melnik ]
Dmitry Melnik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
People who love working like this for decades have no life and no time for personal development

Agreed. I can talk a lot about workaholism as a neurotic, self-destructive behaviour. Bosses tend to take advantage of having employees like that
Dmitry Melnik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
Tina: If u do not work for more hours, you are not 'flexible'.

Guess what? If you have no other choice but working more hours (or a dilemma like "work less hours and get fired, or fork more hours and keep the job"), then you are not flexible too.
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Tina Desai:

Helen, u worked like that for seven years? That's something!


Co-ordinating releases one after the other. Though we were contracted to work 7.5 hrs a day it wasn't unusual to find people working more hours. It's a good thing they either paid overtime or gave time-off in lieu.
Perhaps strictly speaking it wasn't on the trot but most people took it as paid overtime. There were some periods when this was squeezed as it was
difficult to justify the overtime but more often than not it was overtime all the way.
[ August 26, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Tina Desai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 365
Dimitry, that's exactly what I tried and wanted to say!

Hmm.. I just thought.. was this present in the earlier generation? working so much coz you like the work?

Does anyone remember anyones Mom/Dad working 10 and more(without a limit) hours a day..? for days and months and years together? Without getting the over-time pay?

Do we need some regulatory body for software professionals? Might not be pleasant thought for all here. But any thoughts from those who have glasses, collars, back belts.. thanks to a software job?

Tina
Leena Diwan
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Joined: Jun 18, 2001
Posts: 351
There are no dumb questions..!
what is the long form of IMHO?
Leena


[SCJP2, SCWCD1.3, SCBCD]
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
In My Humble Opinion.
Alfred Harre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2004
Posts: 73
Originally posted by Rita Moore:
I have seen many companies that make employees work 50-60 hrs/week but don't pay overtime, is it legal? If you make 8 employees work 1 hr. longer a day, you already saved one employee's salary + benefits. These companies usually don't offer better base salaries also.
I had a friend who was hired as junior programmer. He had to work about 10 hrs a day for half of the money he was suppose to get, on the top of that management would be dissapointed if he didn't show up to work on weekends. My friend ended up quitting, but people keep working there, why?
Would you work like that, knowing you are working more than others, yet you cannot even afford a good car?
I know you like what you do, but then you robably giving better service, right? so you should be paid better?



LOL, LOL, Rita you have a good sense of humour, you are talking about working an hour extra, look at poor canadian's whose services are used for FREE
Topic: Volunteer Java in GTA Toronto - Part Time
Tina Desai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 365
Oh.. how did I miss this post??

What is the diff in an open-source and the ones like this? How could Dirk make this out at once?
Is this some group of people wanting to get work done free of chanrge from people and then do not give them anything in return?
In the open source case, I guess, all work for free and the product is also given for free. All volunteer work, right?

Tina
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

It's a simple formula - if someone else is getting paid for your work, so should you.

If what you do is valuable, do not give it as charity to anything BUT a charity, open source, non-profit, or your Uncle Ernie.

Being flexible is willing to work odd hours. Doing those odd hours for free is voluntary slavery. Working for free also devalues what you do. It is a paycut - 10 hours of free overtime is like getting a 20% cut in manhour pay for being flexible.

You teach people how to treat you. Teach them you are worth every penny.

As for the Toronto request, its not that uncommon to find... and for some reason Toronto is a common source for such requests. There was one a few months ago that required you to not only work on-site but to also provide your own P4 box to work on! (all volunteer)


A good workman is known by his tools.
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
Originally posted by Marc Peabody:
It's a simple formula - if someone else is getting paid for your work, so should you.


That's how I think it should be. Even if you took a low-pay job because you are not experienced, you shouldn't be forced to work more than a normal human can handle. And you shouldn't fall in love and stay with that company any longer than 1 year. If you don't respect yourself, noone will!
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
The different between open source and volunteer work...

Volunter work is giving your time/effort/work away for free (although it could be argued at a discount, as well).

Open source simply means the source code is free and available. It is traditionally unpaid work (and I'd guess 99% or more of open source code comes from unpaid volunteers) but there is nothing in open source that requires the work to be unpaid. Red Hat, for example, has some full time employees paid to contribute to the linux code code.

--Mark
Suman Sarker
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 06, 2004
Posts: 68

Open source simply means the source code is free and available. It is traditionally unpaid work (and I'd guess 99% or more of open source code comes from unpaid volunteers) but there is nothing in open source that requires the work to be unpaid. Red Hat, for example, has some full time employees paid to contribute to the linux code code.

After going thru the long discussion that has been going on in here, I ask myself the following questions

1. What is the benefit of keeping the source code free? Does it not make the end users think "If I can use a software for free, why should I buy one?" What happens when one day all kinds of software become opensource? Will we be still talking about getting overtime? If no one needs to buy software, what will happen to all these programmers out there? This will never happen? Please take a look at the free and open source projects in sourceforge.net. I sometimes think, why should we write a software for free, when we cannot buy a car or rent a house (or just name it) for free.

2. What is the benefit of being a CS graduate? Is there any difference between programmer who is a CS graduate and a programmer who is not? I think anyone with good anlytical and logical ability can become a good programmer by reading a couple of programming language books. But can anyone be an electrical/mechanical/civil engineer by reading a couple of books? Can we be an accountant or may be a doctor or may be chemical engineer in this way?

I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on the questions above.


Suman A Sarker<br />SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD<br /> <br />If You Can't Beat Them ... Join Them!
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Suman,

You should check out the Free Software Foundation. I suspect your views may be similar to theirs. The answer all your questions with their particular viewpoint. You should also check out the works of Eric S. Raymond.

Originally posted by Suman Sarker:

1. What is the benefit of keeping the source code free? Does it not make the end users think "If I can use a software for free, why should I buy one?" What happens when one day all kinds of software become opensource? Will we be still talking about getting overtime? If no one needs to buy software, what will happen to all these programmers out there? This will never happen?


Free sourc code means tohers can contribute to the codebase and you may benefit. This includes everything from finding bugs, to documentation, to additional features. Users may still buy software because the open source software (or other free software) may not meet their needs. If every type of software is 100% open source traidional comercial softwar emay be gone, but that's unlikely. There will always be new demands for software and chances are there won't always be open software around initially to meet the new need.


Originally posted by Suman Sarker:

I sometimes think, why should we write a software for free, when we cannot buy a car or rent a house (or just name it) for free.


Why are there non-profit organizations? Why do people give to charity? Some feel that there is social benefit to such acts as well as the personal benefit of being charitable.




Originally posted by Suman Sarker:
[QB]
2. What is the benefit of being a CS graduate? Is there any difference between programmer who is a CS graduate and a programmer who is not? I think anyone with good anlytical and logical ability can become a good programmer by reading a couple of programming language books. But can anyone be an electrical/mechanical/civil engineer by reading a couple of books? Can we be an accountant or may be a doctor or may be chemical engineer in this way?
QB]


There is as much difference between as programmer who is a CS graduate and one who is not as there is between any other professional who is "educated" as opposed to self taught. Personally, I have found many non-CS graduates lack some fundamentals, but it is not apparent to me that a CS degree is the only way to get the fundamentals.

--Mark
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
{
I think anyone with good anlytical and logical ability can become a good programmer by reading a couple of programming language books
}
1)Can you read all the books on Text Search and design the Search Engine?
2)Can you read books on gaming and design the games?
Dmitry Melnik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 328
can anyone be an electrical/mechanical/civil engineer by reading a couple of books? Can we be an accountant or may be a doctor or may be chemical engineer in this way?

I do not think so. For practicing all those professions one needs a license. And malpractice insurance in many cases. All of them are heavily regulated by codes stating which practices are appropriate, and which are not. There is nothing like that in software engineering profession.
Robert Chisholm
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 69
Suman,

My opinion on your first question:

...MANY clients that I've had do not want Freeware or Open Source. The reason is often that there is no 24/7 support for said software. So they don't want to build a mission critical system on top of it.

A perfect example is my latest client that went Toplink instead of Hibernate... but decided that Enterprise RH Linux was "OK" because they bought the 24/7 support package.

The same client doesn't know how much Open Source is built into their development environment (ex: Apache or CVS)... but because Oracle supports it, they wouldn't care that it's Open Source.

I know a few guys that have worked for start-ups... and it's quite a bit different.


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subject: employment