Thursday, October 09, 2008

Chatter: Overtime pay, and USAT layoff angst

An occasional peek at what you've been chattering about over the past 24 hours. Latest: Should employees likely to lose their jobs now seek overtime pay Gannett wrongfully denied them in the past? Also: A USA Today employee seeks advance word on possible layoffs.

Anonymous@10:18 p.m. said: "I'm not a lawyer, but I'd guess that if you wrote on your time sheet that you worked 40 hours/week, even though you really worked more than that, you wouldn't have a case. Did a manager ever explicitly tell you to lie on your time sheet?"

@10:23 p.m. quickly replied: "Indirectly, by saying that all OT needed to be approved in advance."

And @8:41 a.m. said today about GCI's North Carolina newspaper: "I worked overtime for six years at a Gannett paper in Asheville, and never got paid for it. At least an hour and a half, give or take, everyday. I was told I could not write it down on any time cards and could only put the hours I was hired to work: 37.5. Yes, I worked over 40 hours every week. The funny thing was when I turned in my two week notice, they insisted on paying me for the overtime I worked the second to last week. And the last week they would not let me turn on my computer to begin work until 8am even though I came in at 7 a.m. Looks like someone trying to avoid a lawsuit."

On speculation that USA Today may raise its cover price 33%, to $1, @9:14 a.m. wrote today: "Does anyone have any info on the possibility of more USAT buyouts or layoffs by the end of the year? With the price of the paper possibly going up, the X-mas party nixed for the first time ever, and the economy crashing, it seems likely that more cuts are coming. I can accept the harsh reality of cuts, but I can't accept the lack of fair warning. I wish the suits would give us a heads-up, even if just in general terms."

Join the debate -- or start a new one, in Real Time Comments.

[Image: today's USAT front page, Newseum]


  1. OK, here's fair warning. There will be more layoffs. Ad revenues are off more than 11 percent this year, and they budgeted only for 1 percent. Someone has to make up for that 10 percent difference.
    That is not even taking into account a prospective collapse in Christmas advertisements. We do not know yet how bad it will be, but we suspect it will be very bad. GCI had to take a $1.2 billion loan, but never explained what it was for. I suspect it was to bridge a bad spot in revenues, but if revenues come in lower than the low projections, layoffs will come.
    The good news, I think, is that this time the cuts are going to come in the ranks of the mindless executives. They still need news gatherers and processors, but corporate is going to come to the conclusion that BIG savings could come by reducing executive ranks. You did not give your status in the company, but if you are one of the floor-sweepers, you might survive at least until the 2009 downturn to come.

  2. I wasn't told to lie on my time card but I was told directly by a manager that we can't put in for overtime on our time cards anymore. And when we did work overtime we were told to just leave a couple of hours early later in the week.

  3. No matter what you should get paid for overtime worked. If your manager wants to let you go home early that their problem and you should still get paid.

  4. 11:15

    Yep, that was the managers rule of thumb, but most of the people in my department were never told that.
    We were to busy and understaffed and always putting out fire by employees that were improperly trained by there unqualified managers.

  5. 11:15 -- You spell like that and you work for a newspaper? Scary. Oh yeah, I forgot, there aren't any standards anymore, as long as the bottom line is met.

  6. 12:27

    Is that all you can come up with. I am typing from a knew IPHONE. I am sure it will be mastered soon.

    You must be one of those unqualified managers to come up with such a clever sentence. Your such a team player. LOL

  7. Under the rules, there's nothing wrong with letting an employee go home early later in the week to offset extra hours worked earlier in the week. Over 40 total, of course, OT must be paid.

  8. OT paid...LOL

  9. Gee, I thought the Xmas party money was going to charity?

    Where's the proof?

  10. Does anyone know how they picked the recipients of the Gannett charity money---the ones who had homes damaged in the storms? (Please don't tell me they looked at performance review scores) Anyone on here get any of the $25,000 or apply for it?

  11. I knew a guy who kept copies of the 'acceptable' timecard he turned in and the one relflecting the actual hours he worked. Anyone else ever do this? He figures Gannett owes him a year or two in OT pay.

  12. I kept records of every hour I worked -- and I can document them not only from my calendar but from the actual copy and such that appeared in the paper.

  13. Oh, so the two stories you wrote last month actually took that much time to write?


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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