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New job: they shorted me on my paycheck....I'm furious, getting nowhere


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Old 30th April 2004, 2:04 PM   #1
befuddled11
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New job: they shorted me on my paycheck....I'm furious, getting nowhere

I started a new part-time job at the beginning of April (in addition to the longstanding part-time job I already have). It was mandatory for me to attend 3 days of "general orientation" to start. The days of this were on the days I was regularly scheduled for my longstanding part-time job.....but I wanted to show them I was flexible, plus I knew I had to do this, so I took a day without pay, and a vacation day from my longstanding part-time job....for that first week in April, so that i could attend these (paid) orientation days.

That was April 5, 7 and 8. To make a long story slightly shorter, due to annoying miscommunication on their part, as it turns out, I wasn't given the correct orientation days to begin with, so ended up taking the "day off" from my other job for nothing...but I guess that's neither here nor there, but does lend itself to how horribly unorganized this organization is.

My first paycheck (for these above days) was to be automatically deposited into my checking acct this past Wednesday, April 28th.

That morning, I logged into my online banking to ensure the check had been deposited. I guess I was concerned because I'd heard rumblings since taking this job that they were "known" for screwing up on people's checks.

As luck would have it, they screwed up....and paid me for only 2 of the 3 days. So in other words, I was paid 2/3 of what I should have been.

Now conveniently, at these orientation days, we had a presentation by someone in payroll...who told us that if it "ever" happened that there was a problem with our paycheck, if we found we'd not been paid for all the shifts we'd worked, to report it to our respective unit secretary.....and we would receive pay for that missed shift(s) on our NEXT paycheck. Nice way to cover the arse, if you ask me. It also says the same thing in our Staff Handbook.

I obviously don't work for free, or for the good of my health. To me, this is unacceptable and not a very positive way to start out our employee-employer relationship.

Now....there is no error on my part. These 3 orientation days I had to attend, I "signed in" as I was supposed to. In fact, I went further than that, and spoke with my unit secretary in ADDITION, to ensure she had me down for those 3 days..and I saw her write it down.

So I followed the protocol. I called my unit and asked to speak with the unit secretary.....to report this. She'd have to report the error to payroll as they only make up the checks based on the info they're provided. Of course, in keeping with the generalized disorganization of this place, she's not there that day. Great. So I call up payroll to tell them this and ask what I'm supposed to do now. They suggest I call up the head honch from my department, the Program Head. So I did...and left her a voicemail basically indicating I wasn't impressed with "their" error, and that I hoped to have things resolved ASAP.

I then called up the person from HR who was the one who hired me. She confirmed that she was aware I'd done these 3 orientation days.....but that she'd have to talk to my "boss" to find out what happened.......and that she'd get back to me TODAY. Well it's only a few hours left til quitting time, no call.

Last week, I worked an additional 2 days there. God only knows how they'll screw up on the paycheck for THOSE shifts.

I am a professional and I am fully expected to do my job professionally, and I expect the same from my employer. I find it unacceptable that nothing is being done about this. Only once in my working career has this happened.......and the problem was corrected within hours...and i was written out a manual check for the portion I wasn't paid.

In addition to THIS, and how horribly disorganized I find the entire place (I won't even go into that here), as soon as this is cleared up and I'm paid in 2 weeks for the 2 days I worked last week, I'm quitting. I don't need this aggravation. I can't "afford" to have to basically wait a month to be paid (which is what the case will be, by the time I do get paid for that missed day).

There's still 3 hours for the HR lady to call me back. I don't want to seem rude, but I'm tempted to call her up and pursue this further, without having to WAIT to hear from her. Should she not call by the end of the day, of course it's the weekend. They should be scrambling to make this right.....considering they have a VERY HARD TIME keeping staff such as myself (high turnover rate).

How would you proceed if you were me, right now? Would you just wait it out til the end of the day, to see if she does call? And in case it makes any difference, the amount they owe me is about $350..it's not exactly chump change.

THanks....it was at least good to vent.
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Old 30th April 2004, 2:57 PM   #2
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How would you proceed if you were me, right now?

That entirely depends on what you want the outcome to be. Do you want to continue to work there? If so, then proceed in a calm and courteous manner. Remember if you do continue to work there these same people will be processing your pay again and again and again. In my experience it is always a good thing to keep admin, HR and payroll as onside as possible ( despite how imcompetent they are ! ).

I know how frustrating this can be. For years I've worked as a consultant, primarily contract work, sometimes through 3rd parties, sometimes directly. And many, many times I've had issues with incorrect pay or even no pay at all. One job I had didn't pay me for 8 weeks - well over 500 hours worth of work! Many companies follow procedure to the letter, that is "oh we're terribly sorry, we'll make that up to you on the next pay period.". Often companies use outside agencies to process payroll and the staff that you deal with in HR or accounts have no authority or capability to issue manual cheques.

You're right of course - $350 is not small change. Explain nicely and calmly to them that you expect to be paid for the hours you've worked and in the time frame that they've laid out. Ask them if there is anything that you can do to ensure that this happens. Ask them if there are any steps that you can take to ensure that this doesn't happen in the future. Oh - and wait until you calm down before calling !
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Old 30th April 2004, 3:04 PM   #3
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I'd call. Say you stepped away from your phone or thought maybe you gave them the wrong number or something. Be polite, just keep wondering like you don't know what could have happened but you really need to get it straightened out. Be persistent though (which I know you will), don't let them continue to put you off and if someone commits to calling you back - make sure they give you a time and then say that you will call them back at 3 if you don't hear from them by two.

It will probably take awhile if they are as screwed up as you say but if you are persistent and polite, hopefully you'll get results.

what a pain!!!
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Old 30th April 2004, 3:13 PM   #4
befuddled11
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Well....

This 'check' incident is really only the icing on the cake. No, I don't plan to work there any more. I don't actually have a part-time position, per se, but work as "relief" only the # of hours equivalent to part-time. I basically work when I'm available. So quitting isn't leaving them in the lurch. I will just not be available for shifts until I am paid in full, correctly, for all shifts worked thus far..then I will inform them I'm outta there. They are horribly unorganized and things are done in a way that doesn't sit well with my professional ethics......that is the bottom line.

I already got another job, and have an interview for another next week. There is plenty of work out there in my area.

Of course I will not communicate this all until I'm paid in full.

I know this is likely small potatoes compared to some folks' problems. I was counting on this money to pay for some extensive dental work I had done. It is not a good sign when you begin working for a company and your first check is screwed up. It was all very straightforward. 2 dozen other people in my position attended these same orientation days. I believe this company has weekly general orientations like this. It's nothing new.

I am tempted to go down to their Admin department this afternoon and nicely but firmly not leave until someone writes me out a check. What do I have to lose?
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Old 19th May 2004, 4:19 AM   #5
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*** that 350!!!! grow some nuts and yell ,shout.scream, seems nothing esle is working .show them youre not the kind of person to be ***ed with.its part time anyways better to lose job than go down like a punk.
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