You may have seen my twitter rant. The W2 job is engaged in shenanigans that may require my departure.
I work a full-time gig in a professional capacity. This gig is one in a series of gigs that have supported me since 2012. They come and go. They largely treat us as the highly expendable contingent workers we are. It is not unusual to learn that you are unemployed by a phone call after hours telling you to not come in the next day. It is stressful, but you know this, and should prepare yourself for this as much as you can.
Current gig is with an agency I liked. The past tense is key. The contractor who asked my agency to provide them with workers is a highly dysfunctional work environment. The dysfunction usually does not directly impact me outside of my side-eyeing their behavior and wondering how these workers get through their lives.
This week was different. I was given 3 days to perform a task for work outside of work hours. I said no. In part, because my hours outside of work are fully occupied this week, but mainly because they do not intend to pay me for this work.
They are telling me that I must work for no money. I said no.
I checked in with my agency, because, surely this cannot be a reasonable request. So far, my agency has gotten me an extension to complete the contractor’s
This is not enough.
I asked my agency again how I could possibly be required to complete work tasks for no money. They’ve not yet responded. The contractor has let me know that I will be fired if I do not complete their command since it is a requirement for continued employment.
If I don’t hear from my agency by noon tomorrow, I will let them know that I am prepared to leave my keys at my desk as I leave for my flight on Friday if the command to work without pay is still on the table.
My agency is not going to expect this. We are contingent workers and we are not unionized. We rarely push back against the excesses imposed upon us.
I have an emotional fuck-off fund. I have my LLC. I have concrete steps I am taking to increase my pay rate for the contingency work. I have enough savings to wait for a new gig. I do not volunteer for corporations.
I do not want to quit this gig. It pays better than many gigs on the market. But even one hour of work without pay is unacceptable. This agency has engaged in different shenanigans I will write about later, but this egregious act required its own post, in my opinion.
Has an employer ever stolen your hours and money in this way?