Jump to content
pele24

Overtime pay/ vacation/hours

Recommended Posts

Unlike in Europe, there is no life/work balance in Canada. But why lawyers and articling students are not entitled to (and not only lawyers but other professions):

  • minimum wage
  • daily or weekly limits on hours of work
  • daily rest periods
  • time off between shifts
  • weekly/bi-weekly rest periods
  • eating periods
  • overtime pay
  • sick leave, family responsibility leave or bereavement leave, if taking the leave would be professional misconduct or abandoning your duty
  • public holidays or public holiday pay
  • vacation with pay

Salary in small firms does not allow you to have comfortable life, but you are asked to work long hours and sacrifice your life for that small salary. Noone cares whether you have a family and kids, you have to be in the office for at least 10 hours. 

Why are many lawyers forced to work long hours without getting paid well for it? 

Why is it legal to be overworked and not be compensated for it? How it happened that this modern slavery became a norm? 

 

  • Haha 2
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Modern slavery” is a pretty gross exaggeration of not being paid what you consider to be an appropriate amount of money for time worked.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, easttowest said:

“Modern slavery” is a pretty gross exaggeration of not being paid what you consider to be an appropriate amount of money for time worked.

The question is easy. Are people free? Are people forced to spend hours and hours without rest and seeing their families to meet corporate demands? That's why it is called modern slavery by many people. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, pele24 said:

The question is easy. Are people free? Are people forced to spend hours and hours without rest and seeing their families to meet corporate demands? That's why it is called modern slavery by many people. 

No. 

And can you please cite to some of these “many people”?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, pele24 said:

The question is easy. Are people free? Are people forced to spend hours and hours without rest and seeing their families to meet corporate demands? That's why it is called modern slavery by many people. 

Seems like you should find a different job. 

There are work/life balance problems in law but the vast majority of lawyers willingly accept those problems.

Of course people are free. Walk out the door and start your own law office. Switch careers. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, pele24 said:

Unlike in Europe, there is no life/work balance in Canada. But why lawyers and articling students are not entitled to (and not only lawyers but other professions):

  • minimum wage
  • daily or weekly limits on hours of work
  • daily rest periods
  • time off between shifts
  • weekly/bi-weekly rest periods
  • eating periods
  • overtime pay
  • sick leave, family responsibility leave or bereavement leave, if taking the leave would be professional misconduct or abandoning your duty
  • public holidays or public holiday pay
  • vacation with pay

Salary in small firms does not allow you to have comfortable life, but you are asked to work long hours and sacrifice your life for that small salary. Noone cares whether you have a family and kids, you have to be in the office for at least 10 hours. 

Why are many lawyers forced to work long hours without getting paid well for it? 

Why is it legal to be overworked and not be compensated for it? How it happened that this modern slavery became a norm? 

 

Amongst a bit of hyperbole, I think you've got a point. But no one is crying for the hard working lawyer, and for good reason, in my opinion. It's not that there aren't issues facing lawyers, but compare them to other segments of society and they pale in comparison (again, in my opinion).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Modern slavery" actually is a term used by many people, and has a commonly accepted definition. There's even proposed legislation in Canada relating to modern slavery. The term, as "many people" use it ... does not include lawyers who work long hours.

https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-1/bill/S-211/first-reading
 

Quote

 

Whereas forced labour and child labour are forms of modern slavery;

forced labour means labour or service provided, or offered to be provided, by a person under circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause the person to believe that their safety or the safety of a person known to them would be threatened if they failed to provide or offer to provide the labour or service. (travail forcé)

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, conge said:

Amongst a bit of hyperbole, I think you've got a point. But no one is crying for the hard working lawyer, and for good reason, in my opinion. It's not that there aren't issues facing lawyers, but compare them to other segments of society and they pale in comparison (again, in my opinion).

And that’s the point, right? There are legitimate issues in the profession around power imbalance between lawyers/students and burnout etc. 
 

But it’s not “modern slavery”.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, BeetleGirl said:

I think OP is just trolling.

I don't think so. I took a quick look at their post history and four years ago they were complaining about firms supposedly being inflexible with job interview times (@Ryn's response was great):

11 years ago they also mentioned being from Europe and having done their undergrad there (which explains them comparing Canada unfavorably to Europe in this OP).

If they were trolling it would be a hell of a long game on their part.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

If they were trolling it would be a hell of a long game on their part.

But not nearly as long as @Diplock‘s long con leading up to a rant about the LSAT (and other things).

  • Like 2
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To call it modern day slavery is a bit disgusting when there's actual slavery still happening around the world.

 

But work culture in NA is definitely poor compared to Europe. But many social organizing aspects are. There's a reason folks like Ford can get elected here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is going to be a bit of a tangent, but I actually get where the OP is coming from. The hyperbole is ridiculous, don't get me wrong. But looking past the decision to exaggerate absurdly, there's an interesting problem under the surface.

Most people approach law as a "profession," which I'm going to define for the sake of this point as different from a "job." A profession is an identity you willingly inhabit at least most of the time. It's who you are - perhaps not entirely, but a meaningful part of it. It isn't a burden most of the time, though you may have bad days, but a choice that you make. I could go on, but I think I'm making the distinction clear that I'm aiming for. By contrast, a job is much simpler. You are exchanging your time and productive labour in return for money. An hour of your time equals X dollars. When you aren't on the clock, there's no reason to be doing work. When you leave the workplace, there's no reason to think of it again until your next shift. And that's all that it is.

I think the OP's main issue is that they are trying to approach law as a job rather than a profession, and that approach sits uneasily. As jobs go, there's no reason to compare law to modern slavery and it's far, far better than many other available jobs. But it also fails to follow many of the logical trade-offs that one would expect, as captured by the OP's bullet points. The sense that it isn't fair - or at least that it seems to violate expected norms if you think of it as a job - isn't entirely unreasonable.

All I can say in reply is that for the vast majority of the legal profession in Canada (no idea about Europe) law is not a job but a profession. We can debate could-bes and should-bes if you like, but to offer meaningful advice I'm going to say it is what it is, and you're better off identifying your problem rather than complaining that the entire profession should realign to suit you. If you want to understand what's happening and to make the best of it, you should be looking to claim all the advantages that come with working in a profession (which are considerable) instead of trying to reduce it to a job (which most of us wouldn't want anyway).

Look. Because CleanHands drew my attention to it, I scanned your history on this quickly. You've been on about this for a long time and it's always been your problem. I have no idea what you actually want to do with your career as a lawyer. I don't think you know yourself what you want. That's fine as a job - trade your hours for money, ideally as few as possible and on terms you choose. That's a bad approach to a profession. The way to be good at a profession is to want to do it - at least much of the time - and to be interested in it. Without that going for you, you'll always find yourself in shit positions that you resent.

Figure out what you want to be doing as a lawyer. Or even, perhaps, as not-a-lawyer. Or get used to a series of "jobs" you're probably going to be unhappy in, and complaints that dissatisfactions that won't even make sense to most of your peers and colleagues because you're looking at all of this through a lens we don't share.

Anyway, good luck.

 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@Diplock nailed it on the head. 

I always tell students at my firm that they have to find an area of law that they absolutely love. Being a lawyer is a lot of work. For myself I'm almost always at least thinking about something at work, but that's okay because I really love it. Sometimes I get asked to do things that are annoying or tedious but as I become more senior, those kinds of jobs are less common and I can focus on the parts of my work that really excite me. 

Simply put, if you don't love the area of law your practicing, then you're going to hate your life. If there isn't anything about law that you like, then maybe look at a different profession or transitioning your legal experience into another non-law role. 

Edited by TheScientist101
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, TheScientist101 said:

Diplock nailed it on the head. 

 

I always tell students at my firm that they have to find an area of law that they absolutely love. Being a lawyer is a lot of work. For myself I'm almost always at least thinking about something at work, but that's okay because I really love it. Sometimes I get asked to things that are annoying or tedious but as I become more senior, those kinds of jobs are less common and I can focus on the parts of my work that really excite me. 

Simply put, if you don't love the area of law your practicing, then you're going to hate your life. If there isn't anything about law that you like, then maybe look at a different profession or transitioning your legal experience into another non-law role. 

Is this part of why articling is said to be the worst year? In the sense that a lot of what you do is tedious?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, pzabbythesecond said:

Is this part of why articling is said to be the worst year? In the sense that a lot of what you do is tedious?

I actually really enjoyed articling. I think it can be tough on some students because articling tasks tend to be more last minute and unpredictable. You  might think you have a free evening but all of a sudden partner x needs you to go through a million footnotes and make sure they're correct before tomorrow etc. 

Despite that you can get some really great experience articling. You have to take the good in with the bad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, TheScientist101 said:

I actually really enjoyed articling. I think it can be tough on some students because articling tasks tend to be more last minute and unpredictable. You  might think you have a free evening but all of a sudden partner x needs you to go through a million footnotes and make sure they're correct before tomorrow etc. 

Despite that you can get some really great experience articling. You have to take the good in with the bad. 

It has been. But some of the tasks are just extremely annoying.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

It has been. But some of the tasks are just extremely annoying.

Don't know where you work, but you should be able to offload some of those mechanical and tedious tasks to your assistant, assuming you have one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Diplock said:

This is going to be a bit of a tangent, but I actually get where the OP is coming from. The hyperbole is ridiculous, don't get me wrong. But looking past the decision to exaggerate absurdly, there's an interesting problem under the surface.

Most people approach law as a "profession," which I'm going to define for the sake of this point as different from a "job." A profession is an identity you willingly inhabit at least most of the time. It's who you are - perhaps not entirely, but a meaningful part of it. It isn't a burden most of the time, though you may have bad days, but a choice that you make. I could go on, but I think I'm making the distinction clear that I'm aiming for. By contrast, a job is much simpler. You are exchanging your time and productive labour in return for money. An hour of your time equals X dollars. When you aren't on the clock, there's no reason to be doing work. When you leave the workplace, there's no reason to think of it again until your next shift. And that's all that it is.

I think the OP's main issue is that they are trying to approach law as a job rather than a profession, and that approach sits uneasily. As jobs go, there's no reason to compare law to modern slavery and it's far, far better than many other available jobs. But it also fails to follow many of the logical trade-offs that one would expect, as captured by the OP's bullet points. The sense that it isn't fair - or at least that it seems to violate expected norms if you think of it as a job - isn't entirely unreasonable.

All I can say in reply is that for the vast majority of the legal profession in Canada (no idea about Europe) law is not a job but a profession. We can debate could-bes and should-bes if you like, but to offer meaningful advice I'm going to say it is what it is, and you're better off identifying your problem rather than complaining that the entire profession should realign to suit you. If you want to understand what's happening and to make the best of it, you should be looking to claim all the advantages that come with working in a profession (which are considerable) instead of trying to reduce it to a job (which most of us wouldn't want anyway).

Look. Because CleanHands drew my attention to it, I scanned your history on this quickly. You've been on about this for a long time and it's always been your problem. I have no idea what you actually want to do with your career as a lawyer. I don't think you know yourself what you want. That's fine as a job - trade your hours for money, ideally as few as possible and on terms you choose. That's a bad approach to a profession. The way to be good at a profession is to want to do it - at least much of the time - and to be interested in it. Without that going for you, you'll always find yourself in shit positions that you resent.

Figure out what you want to be doing as a lawyer. Or even, perhaps, as not-a-lawyer. Or get used to a series of "jobs" you're probably going to be unhappy in, and complaints that dissatisfactions that won't even make sense to most of your peers and colleagues because you're looking at all of this through a lens we don't share.

Anyway, good luck.

 

Thanks for this take Diplock, it really resonated with me as a young call. One thing that I would add is that lawyers also have multiple roles. Associates are both professionals and employees. Partners are professionals, employers, and business owners. As a young associate it can be difficult to navigate your roles as an employee vs your role as a professional.

Something that I think highlights this is that a lot of young calls I have spoken to, including myself, view ourselves as lawyers "at work" but not beyond that.  

Looking back on my time at law school, I wish that a lot more time was spent on developing yourself as a professional e.g. what does it mean to be a lawyer, be an advocate, etc instead of "here are the rules of professional conduct". While I agree that a lot of this development can and should happen during articling and the first few years of practice, the realities of a busy firm often mean a lot more time experienced as an "employee" and not a lot of time or resources left over to develop as a professional. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...