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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:03 PM

5. I've worked without pay a few times.

A couple of times when California couldn't get its act together to pass a budget by the legally required deadline. The governor and the legislature couldn't agree--of course, the legislature immediately said it was the governor's job to sign the budget (years later, the same party would come back and say it was the opposition-controlled legislature's job to pass the budget ... The opposition has responsibilities, 'my side' only has rights).

To not work would have harmed a lot of people. 300+ people would have immediately been kicked out onto the streets (since my job and that of my coworkers was to keep a dorm open). If we walked out, then all the dorm workers would have walked out, and upwards of 8000 students would, likewise, have been homeless. Because, well, only money is really important.

Yeah, I could always says, "Sorry, it's not my fault." But I wasn't doing anything else and knew if I did work I'd get back pay. I was working for an IOU.

When an employer can't pay you it *sometimes* means they're close to being bankrupt. That's the flaw in the OP. Sometimes it means there's a cash flow problem, and that very often doesn't lead to bankruptcy.

Another time an employer had a large amount due to a vendor--and if the vendor didn't get paid, it would mean the vendor would likely not do business *and* the vendor's employees wouldn't get paid. Since this was a Chinese company with ties, it turned out, to the Red Army and Chinese Communist Party, the contact person in the US was frantic for the safety of his relatives, who "owned" the company or at least were responsible for the contract with my employer. At the same time, my employer had orders it had shipped that it was waiting on. The timing was bad. I suspended pay for a few weeks until the collectibles were collected. I was bookkeeper. (The company eventually went belly up, partly because the Chinese VP looked out for his relatives and status in the CP more than his own honesty and integrity--such is an honor-based culture; but also because the owner was a nitwit who was so into her ideology that she really didn't see reality.)

And a fourth time was when I worked for a non-profit. It was February, receipts were down for January and we had a bit of a cashflow problem, again. Every February was tight, that one was when the Congress decided to change the tax rules to make it harder to deduct donations to non-profits. If you donated in January you couldn't deduct the money, if you donated in December you could. People would still donate, but most donated every few months. It averaged out okay, but a lot of people had front-loaded donations and the pastors didn't realize that was happening. By the end of February we got paid. (I wasn't bookkeeper, but it was a small office and the bookkeeper's desk was about 4' away from me.)

Strictly speaking, I was still working for pay. It was when payment was received that was the problem.

I also freelance translated. I chucked that for two reasons. (1) I wasn't good at tracking down work when the field contracted. (2) I wasn't good at getting payment out of people.

There's a flipside to the OP, though, one that many DUers would disagree with but which is entailed by the argument in the OP. If you hire somebody to do something, what if you don't pay them?

The OP's argument says that the appropriate thing to do is for them to discontinue working for you if you don't pay them in a timely manner. Because they should be paid on time. It's a contract. If they can't pay, it means they're soon facing bankruptcy.

Now think about people who fall behind on their water bills, electric bills, who rack up medical expenses. They're not paying their employees.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
MineralMan Jan 2019 OP
KPN Jan 2019 #1
MineralMan Jan 2019 #2
LineLineLineReply I've worked without pay a few times.
Igel Jan 2019 #5
MineralMan Jan 2019 #7
hunter Jan 2019 #3
MineralMan Jan 2019 #4
violetpastille Jan 2019 #6
MineralMan Jan 2019 #8
bluestarone Jan 2019 #9
MineralMan Jan 2019 #10
bluestarone Jan 2019 #12
MineralMan Jan 2019 #14
bluestarone Jan 2019 #16
meadowlander Jan 2019 #11
MineralMan Jan 2019 #13
meadowlander Jan 2019 #17
MineralMan Jan 2019 #18
lilactime Jan 2019 #15
MineralMan Jan 2019 #19
malaise Jan 2019 #20
CK_John Jan 2019 #21
sunonmars Jan 2019 #22
lame54 Jan 2019 #23
lostnfound Jan 2019 #24
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