Friday, August 26, 2005

DO WE, AS REGULAR CITIZENS, TRULY HAVE POWER???

I will apologize in advance for ranting...now I will begin.

My blog allows me the opportunity to address issues that are bothersome to me, as the following situation does because it truly relates to just how powerless we the people are when is comes to state and big corporation issues: Do we truly have any power at all?

I have brought my unique situation to the attention of Human Resources personnel of my former employer, all of whom could not assist me or make the situation I am about to address right, so I wrote a letter to another "more powerful" representative that covers the situation about which I'm not very happy:

I became employed at another post-secondary institution on August 1, making July 29 my last day at my former employer. I accumulated over 300 hours in vacation but have yet to be compensated for those hours due to an error in paperwork. While I find the paperwork error unfortunate, it really has little to do with the fact that I am still waiting on the money owed to me. I wouldn't make a big issue out of it except for the fact that I made a purchase, counting on my vacation compensation to cover this expense. Now here it is two pay periods later and I have received nothing.

I spoke with an employee who states that payroll has already been submitted for the August 31 pay period and because the error was not caught until I brought it to the attention of payroll personnel, they would not be able to submit a check to me for said pay date, and could not cut an individual check. Thus, I would have to wait another pay period to receive this compensation. In the meantime, my debt is racking up interest and finance charges that I will ultimately have to pay. To this end, I thought I would obtain an expert opinion, after all this was money I earned but had not received in due time. After speaking with a representative from the Department of Labor, I was informed differently: She stated that it reads "Employees are entitled to any compensation owed to them either on the last day of employment or the first pay period proceeding the last day of employment." In this case, I will receive payment on the fourth pay period proceeding employment, which is ridiculous. My options are to give my employee the opportunity to cut a check or to submit a wage claim with the Department of Labor, which I would rather not do but will if it's my only option. But most importantly, if I were to submit a wage claim it would take 6-8 weeks to process and could take up to a year if there are any problems. How will this help? I will be paid the money before 6 weeks, but I should have been paid at the very least one week ago. So there it is, perfectly understandable. I lose and there’s nothing I can do about it except wait for my check for more than three additional weeks.

Previously, I had made three calls, leaving three messages with requests to return my call, but had NO ONE return my calls. As an alumnus of this institution, I certainly expected better. I asked for someone to get back to me and this is the reply I received.

Lori,

As I understand the situation, your department head for some reason did not file the paper work on time. When you made Human Resources personnel aware of this error she personally worked with the department secretary to get the vacation monies paid out. That money will be paid out on September 16, 2005. Regretfully, mistakes like this happen. The important thing is that you be paid what is owed and that is in process.

Signed: Employment Representative

Once again, if mistakes were made on my end, if I forgot to make a payment on the due date to this place of employment, I wouldn’t hear the words, “Oh you made a mistake, so no problem. Just pay us when you get paid. We understand, regretfully, that mistakes happen.” No way!! I would receive a notice that reads “You have been removed from all class lists for failing to pay your tuition on time. You must submit payment and then attempt to get back in all your classes, but more than likely, they’re full! Sorry!” Funny how things work, huh?? So the question truly is..."Does the regular citizen really have any power at all?? That's my question of the day!

Okay, back to the music, as it's the one thing -- other than my family, friends and fans -- that make life truly a blessing.

1 comment:

just sayin' said...

in situations like this, but honestly works best is to have a one-on-one relationship with the head secretary. secretaries can get things done that no one else can. they are the ones who truly have the power. always make a point to be nice to the secretaries.