Post # 1
Hi bees, I could use some advice. My H and I kill ourselves at work. We are very blessed to be able to financially support ourselves and have a job at all and I am very thankful for this. H recently got a promotion (lets say as a quality manager for example) and he works at a manufacturing facility. Recently, a project that H was working on had not been properly prioritized by his own manager which led to the project going south after months of communicating risks, as there was a great need for production support. As a result H, along with his staff are to change their job responsibilities to be working 100% in the production room for many months. This has come with (in addition to the regular 55 hours he puts in every week) a request to work 1 weekday until midnight. Then the asks got larger. Saturdays. And now, Sundays. Sat and Sun are 10 hour days. He is exempt and salary.
My H is so stressed and burnt out. When the Sunday request came up, he said no he cannot do it and has other obligations. His manager told him to remove his obligations and he needs him on Sunday. We are debating a response to that. I am very worried as H is the main breadwinner that challenging his manager he could lose his job. But he is truly exhausted and this is not sustainable. It could not have come at a worse time. H is looking for a new job but as you know these things take time. Bees any advice is greatly appreciated.
Post # 2
I guess the three options are:
1. Stand firm, tell his boss no. Risk losing the job.
2. Give in and pray he finds another job before the strain of this one truly becomes too much.
3. Quit and find a new job while surviving off just your income.
Unless, you absolutely cannot live without his income I would go with option 1. He can’t just keep saying yes and the asks have gotten completely unreasonable.
Post # 3
hikingbride : Thank you for the helpful response bee, I agree. It seems like even the asks are never enough. There was an additional request to start at 4AM one morning and he said no on that one too. They would work him to death. I see the effect this is taking on him physically and emotionally and I’m very concerned about the health and wellbeing of my H. It feels like a relief that I’m not crazy for thinking this is excessive
Post # 4
honeybee26 : have him go to his doctor for stress leave. He should take 3 days off due to stress and then come back and say no to 4am starting time and Sundays. Don’t you have labor laws where you live? Can you speak to someone at your labor office?
Post # 5
This is outrageous. If the project is in as much trouble as stated, I seriously doubt your H would get fired for refusing these ridiculous hours. Then his manager would be in an even worse situation. His manager didn’t do his job and is now using his staff to cover his ass. All he cares about is not losing his job. Does his manager’s boss know about these outrageous hours?
Post # 6
lifeisbeeutiful : Thank you bee for the advice I have not heard of that but will look into it. I called the state labor board earlier today. They said I can contact the attorney generals office, but typically those laws are very enforceable for those who are hourly employees, but for those who are salary and exempt, there are no limitations on how many hours or days the employee can work and things are less enforceable (thats what the lady told me anyway). She also said the wait list is very long but she encouraged me to file a complaint anyway
Post # 7
katebluestone : Thank you bee, I feel the exact same way. Completely hit the nail on the head. My H doesn’t think so, as his managers boss is the plant manager. Paying H to do production work is more expensive so it does not make financial sense to do so – not that H considers himself better or above it or anything like that, that is not the case
Post # 8
- Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse
honeybee26 : Hi Bee! I’m sorry your husband is going through this. My husband’s last job had him working 80 hour weeks for 2 1/2 years so I totally understand!
First of all, I would make sure your husband is keeping track of his hours. I know he’s salaried but you’ll need that if any legal action has to take place. Second, I would absolutely follow up with the labor office and try to plead a case. Especially if your husband isn’t executive level, he has more of a leg to stand on.
I also wanted to add that once my husband left his old job our lives improved drastically. He used to be stressed all the time, always tired and we hardly had time to do anything. Now, he has weekends off and we are so much happier. I know you have to be in the right spot to make it happen, but sometimes the money isn’t worth it.
I don’t mean to sound old fashioned, but I think it really helps if you take care of as much of the housework as possible. When my husband worked that much, I did all of the housework except the litter box. Cooked, cleaned, meal prepped, laundry, shopping, etc. If my husband would have had to do any of that he probably would have lost his mind. It was the least I could do to make his life a little easier so he could just relax when he got home.
Post # 9
He’s working these hours SALARIED? Oh hell no. I’ll do ten hour days a few times a month, maybe work Saturdays.
He’s not even getting overtime for this.
Definitely keep looking for another job, and I like pps idea of going to his dr for some medical time off. I don’t know the laws of looking for another job if you are on leave though.
Post # 10
that would be a NO for me.
I dont believe in killing yourself for a job, id rather live in a box and be happy than waste my life chasing a penny but not everyone thinks like me, I know my partner works 55 hours a week (15 on overtime pay) and its too much and hes even had to mention it to his boss that he needs more money and less hours or he will have to look elsewhere so I couldnt imagine 80 hours.
Post # 11
Is he doing a job that is typically hourly? It sounds like he is not doing his management job, but manufacturing? If this is the case, he may actually be required to be re-classified under FLSA to an hourly, nonexempt employee, and therefore receive overtime. Remember, if he does refuse these hours and gets fired, he would likely be qualified for unemployment while he looks for something else. What they’re doing is digusting.
Post # 12
whitums : Yep.
honeybee26 : Look up the requirements for exempt vs non-exempt work, and compare them to what your husband is actually doing. Not his title, but the work that he does. If he’s doing work that is not exempt from OT pay, that is a legitimate complaint that comes with protection from retaliation.
Post # 13
Hi bee. You didn’t indicate whether you are in the US or not.
But as other PPs have posted, if you are in the US, although managers are generally exempt from overtime comp under state and federal wage and hour laws (hence the “exempt” designation), it is job duties and not job titles that determine whether or not an employee is truly exempt from OT. Your Darling Husband should examine his day-to-day duties – especially now working on this project – and determine whether he is now spending a majority of his time managing others or performing the same tasks as those he supervises. Managerial job categories include: customarily and regularly directing the work of others, customarily and regularly exercising discretionary power, the authority to hire and fire, the ability to make comments and suggestions about personnel matter than are given weight by the employer, etc. It also matters how much of his time is spent on performing the “managerial” tasks – in some jurisdictions, if an employee spends only 1/2 his time in a managerial role and the other half performing the same duties as those he supervises, the employee may lose exempt status.
You should look up your specific state laws for guidance on this determination. Additionally, there is also a salary threshold to be considered exempt (which was just increased under the FLSA). Just because he has been classified as exempt does not mean that his status cannot change.
And yes, there is protection from retaliation under US labor laws if your Darling Husband complains and the employer takes some adverse employment action against him.
Post # 14
That seems to me like it should be illegal, or at a minimum merit a conversation with a lawyer about his legal rights when he’s not being offered OT.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey
We’re going through the same thing with my husband. His manager decides whether he works even an entire day without a break or not. They call whenever, no matter in the morning, midnight, weekend etc. On top on working insanely long hours as an engineer at heavy industry like a slave, they don’t pay for extra hours at all.
So, we contacted the government but there’s nothing yet. He’s planning to endure only a tiny bit more to pay our debt but both of us are badly affected by this situation.
My sympathies go to you here.