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Fine print(if any) in offer letters

In one of my earlier employments, I wasn't paid as much as what was actually mentioned in the salary stackup that came with the offer letter.

The bonus of 15% of the net salary was withheld and we were told that it would be paid every July 1st only to those who were with the company. That is: if you left on June 30, your bonus would not be paid on a pro-rated basis.

That was not all, a couple of components were also suspended saying that it would paid only after completion of a year of service.

When I mailed the HR saying that these should have been mentioned at the time of making the offer or atleast as a fine print in the offer, I was told that I was lucky enough to have a job and that "there are lots of people in this market to take up your job"*. The same management never misses an opportunity to talk about integrity and values! I quit in the month that followed after 2+ years of "service".

Has anybody had such experiences?

*There is a whole lot of difference between "lots of people" and "lots of good people".

Monday, February 17, 2003

Forgot to add: Neither the bonus nor those "invisible" components came through even after 2 years. The policy was amended to : "these components and bonuses will be paid only when the company makes profits". Well, this could also be mentioned when they make new offers. Sadly, they never did. I felt sorry for the guys who joined and were surprised when they came to know about the policy.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Brings up some memories.

You did the right thing in quitting. In all likelihood, you would have regretted staying -- those who are not honest in small things are not honest in big things.

Ed the Millwright
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

to : "these components and bonuses will be paid only when the company makes profits". Well, this could also be mentioned when they make new offers. Sadly, they never did.

----> I think that's illegal.  Your bonus was deferred compensation.  It's possible for a company to change your salary and compensation in the future, but they can't change what you earned in the past.

It would have been worth fighting yourself, probably not worth hiring a lawyer.  (If you had a buddy who was a para-legal, you could have written a formal letter that was sent certified, so you'd have signatures - but that's as far as I would have taken it.)

I had something similar happen with a few bucks when I transferred from the reserve to the guard.  Then, I didn't care (Hey, I was like, 18 years old and stupid, and it was $1,500.  After taxes, it would have been like $700.)

Today, I'd fight it.  No one can make you feel inferior or not worth respecting without your consent.


Matt H.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The less bargaining power you have the more you will be exploited.

I was once hired by a big financial organisation to fix a problem in one of their applications, my contract period was two months.
They had previous unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem,
last time taking five months.
When I completely fixed the problem in 6 weeks, including full regression testing, all of a sudden my project manager started putting pressure on me not to come to work for the remaining 2 weeks of my contract, as I am on an hourly rate, guess who's hip pocket this affects?

This pressure takes the form of asking what I was doing,
when clearly I was not doingmuch as I fixed the problem already.
My standard answer was "whatever you want me to do".
The problem with this being that he'll probably
ask me to sweep the floors (not really, but you know what I mean).

He knew that I wasnt doing much (as he was my boss and was giving me nothing to do)(and the work was done) and was using this to make me feel guilty about completing
the remaining term of my contract.

All I can do is remember this. File it away, hopefully for future reference.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

I agree with others that this sounds illegal.

You can always *threaten* to fight it legally.  That might push HR to make an exception for you.

Which still wouldn't stop the general policy, but it might make them reconsider it.

Brent P. Newhall
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I had a music teacher who used to drive trucks who was being ripped off on his overtime pay; they were cutting it to what they _thought_ it should be, rather than the hours he documented.  He called the Department of Labor.  He didn't mention his name or the name of the company where he worked; he just described the situation.  They responded that it was a situation they'd be VERY interested in looking into.

He returned to his boss with this information; when his boss doubted he'd called, he gave him the 800 number.  Suddenly he got all his back pay, and all his overtime was correct after that.  (He shared this tip with the guys he worked with, but they never bothered to call; they just grumbled about their shorted checks.)

All of that said, labor protections are fairly scant when it comes to bonuses, vacation, and such.  So if it's a promised bonus you didn't get, you may have no luck, but if you have it in writing with no fine print on the writing itself, it's worth calling the DoL to see if they think you might have a case.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

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