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pele24

Overtime pay/ vacation/hours

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

In law we do a good job of reversing this incentive with the billable hours ūüėĄ

Exactly. Law is terrible for equating time spent with value created, when it's usually untrue, and creates all sorts of wonky incentives. 

There's also plenty of companies who require their salaried employees to be at work at all times during business hours, regardless of whether they are done their work. So they say they're paying for value, but they slap a time requirement on it. 

The reality is that most companies across most industries are concerned with one thing alone when it comes to employees - paying the least amount possible for labour while still retaining the level of talent they want. Labour is a market and a cost centre for business, and if they can find an excuse to pay less but keep quality acceptable, they will (look at Facebook reducing wages for those who work remotely based on cost of living in their area).

The sooner you internalize that, the sooner you'll work to increase your bargaining power and negotiate, in writing, at the outset of your employment, the compensation, benefits, flexibility, etc. you desire. 

Edited by whoknows
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1 hour ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

But perhaps this is the way to think of being a salaried employee - that you will get X amount of work, and you will be paid $Y per year.  The amount of time it takes is not a factor.  It doesn't matter if you get your work done in 30 hours per week or 80 hours per week.

This is how I look at it - almost like a contractor assigned to build something by a certain date. It has its advantages: I can come and go when I please, get guaranteed income, etc. But also its disadvantages: just because I go on vacation, doesn't mean my assignments hit "pause"- there's no getting away from it. I still need to build something by a certain date! I guess in a sense, the files/assignments come and go as they please as well lol

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58 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

In law we do a good job of reversing this incentive with the billable hours ūüėĄ

Oh sure - even true when you're not subject to the billable hour.

In my experience in government work (which might only be true in Alberta as we're non-unionized), you're salaried, but you're a government employee technically subject to the same 8:15 to 4:30 work day as everyone else.  Our managers don't have you punch a clock, but you still have to at least notionally work something close to your 37.5 hours per week in your office.  (NB: this is all pre-Covid)

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On 1/5/2021 at 11:39 PM, CleanHands said:

Do you (a practicing lawyer, no less) not understand that the entire point of salaried (as opposed to hourly) employees is that they don't get paid for OT? And do you not understand that the rationale for that is that it would be completely impractical given the nature of certain occupations?

There are some semblances of legitimate gripes buried in the rubble in your posts, but damn you are articulating this in an absurd fashion.

So you are saying that salaried employees are not entitled to OT. It is absolutely wrong. Salaried employees get paid for OT, it just some professions are exempt including lawyers. Salary is calculated based on the required hours (35 or 40 hours  a week) and if you work more, you are compensated for it. Why lawyers are not entitled to is probably because the salary was so high in the past that it would compensate for all overtimes. This is not true anymore. 

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14 minutes ago, pele24 said:

So you are saying that salaried employees are not entitled to OT. It is absolutely wrong. Salaried employees get paid for OT, it just some professions are exempt including lawyers. Salary is calculated based on the required hours (35 or 40 hours  a week) and if you work more, you are compensated for it. Why lawyers are not entitled to is probably because the salary was so high in the past that it would compensate for all overtimes. This is not true anymore. 

If this was true, law wouldn't be a competitive field to get into :)

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14 minutes ago, pele24 said:

So you are saying that salaried employees are not entitled to OT. It is absolutely wrong. Salaried employees get paid for OT, it just some professions are exempt including lawyers. Salary is calculated based on the required hours (35 or 40 hours  a week) and if you work more, you are compensated for it. 

This is not quite right either. Some salaried employees are entitled to overtime, and some are not. Which category you are in depends on your contract of employment and the applicable employment standards legislation. The right answer was given by CrunchBerries on the previous page of this thread.

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3 hours ago, pele24 said:

So you are saying that salaried employees are not entitled to OT. It is absolutely wrong. Salaried employees get paid for OT, it just some professions are exempt including lawyers. Salary is calculated based on the required hours (35 or 40 hours  a week) and if you work more, you are compensated for it. Why lawyers are not entitled to is probably because the salary was so high in the past that it would compensate for all overtimes. This is not true anymore. 

You're right. The ESA exempts lawyers from OT. I think it has more to do with the nature of the profession than whether lawyers are compensated well or not. As service providers, lawyers don't necessarily work on linear projects or ones that have set hours/steps at any given time. My practice is in litigation. We prepare for hearings, draft written submissions, review disclosure, etc. Some files take longer than others to prepare for. Some lawyers take more/less time on those same files based on their experience. Instituting OT pay wouldn't really address the real issue - which is that many legal positions are not confined to 9-5 hours and "overtime" isn't really a thing. You have to put in the hours to accomplish the task at hand. The more experienced you become, the less time it will take you to do those tasks. 

On a personal note, I find that it all balances out over the year. Some months you're billing 200 hours, some months are 80. It's just the nature of the beast, at least in litigation. I agree with many other comments where you can vote with your feet. If you don't feel your compensation adequately reflects the time you put in, you can seek a performance review or explore your options. Many firms give bonuses. I think the real issue is the discrepancy between firms that pay reasonably/well and those that underpay their staff and have high turnover because they are horrendous places to work. Institution OT pay isn't going to fix those problems. 

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3 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

If this was true, law wouldn't be a competitive field to get into :)

It's a fun line, and I'm not agreeing with the OP on most topics. But basically, you've just argued that we should assume the employment marketplace is entirely rational. And I think I'd have to dispute that.

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7 minutes ago, Diplock said:

It's a fun line, and I'm not agreeing with the OP on most topics. But basically, you've just argued that we should assume the employment marketplace is entirely rational. And I think I'd have to dispute that.

We probably disagree. I think it's entirely rational, but that there are other factors that people react rationally to.

Power. Prestige. Image. Etc.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

We probably disagree. I think it's entirely rational, but that there are other factors that people react rationally to.

Power. Prestige. Image. Etc.

It's a fairly competitive market with imperfect information and informational asymmetry, so I think most of the strange stuff you see comes from that. 

Also there are pretty high transaction costs in labour markets, which by and large make the possibility of a perfectly competitive or rational labour market impossible. 

Edited by GoblinKing

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Does anyone, maybe an employment lawyer, actually know the rationale under which lawyers and other professionals were excluded from the ESA? 

I'm guessing it's something as simple as - it's a self-regulated profession and they can therefore set their own rules and standards. 

There are some work categories that are excluded and there can be no rational justification, though. E.g., a person whose employment is directly related to the growing of mushrooms is exempt from a bunch of stuff. So clearly there was some heavy industry specific lobbying going on whenever that O. Reg. was made. You could never convince me that a guy works on a mushroom farm doesn't require normal breaks, overtime, etc.

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25 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

Does anyone, maybe an employment lawyer, actually know the rationale under which lawyers and other professionals were excluded from the ESA? 

I'm guessing it's something as simple as - it's a self-regulated profession and they can therefore set their own rules and standards. 

There are some work categories that are excluded and there can be no rational justification, though. E.g., a person whose employment is directly related to the growing of mushrooms is exempt from a bunch of stuff. So clearly there was some heavy industry specific lobbying going on whenever that O. Reg. was made. You could never convince me that a guy works on a mushroom farm doesn't require normal breaks, overtime, etc.

Hey man, if we're talking about a specific kind of mushroom, and they're allowed to ingest some of their work product, then they're totally like always on break, dude.

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28 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

Does anyone, maybe an employment lawyer, actually know the rationale under which lawyers and other professionals were excluded from the ESA? 

I'm guessing it's something as simple as - it's a self-regulated profession and they can therefore set their own rules and standards. 

There are some work categories that are excluded and there can be no rational justification, though. E.g., a person whose employment is directly related to the growing of mushrooms is exempt from a bunch of stuff. So clearly there was some heavy industry specific lobbying going on whenever that O. Reg. was made. You could never convince me that a guy works on a mushroom farm doesn't require normal breaks, overtime, etc.

I was searching Hansard for this a couple years ago. I couldn't find an official explanation. I spoke to some lawyers who were around when it was drafted and I was told the assumption was the profession would set their own rules and standards and lawyers generally have it "pretty good." 

Most agricultural workers don't really have many statutory rights. It's a big problem. 

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There seem to be a few categories that most exemptions fit in (though the specific examples in each category are probably due to good lobbying rather than principled selection):

  1. Self-regulating professions (lawyers etc.)
  2. Work that when it needs to be done really needs to be done without stopping (this is where mushroom farming comes in, along with a few things like sod laying, hunting/fishing guides, etc.)
  3. Work that is highly seasonal (landscaping etc)
  4. Work where you control your own hours and methods to make commissions (traveling salespeople)

You can easily see the arguments for each category, though there are obviously good arguments against for each one as well. And in the categories, they specify what workers are exempted while there are probably many similarly-situated workers who are not exempted.

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as a proud union-side lawyer let me just say the the ESA sucks and you shouldn't want the legal profession to be subject to it.

you should instead join or form a union with your colleagues and collective bargain a much, much better wage and working conditions than the ESA has or will ever include.

in fact, all Bay St. articling students used to be unionized ~25 years ago. the union died due to slow decertifications, but working conditions have not exactly been improving since its demise.

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