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Gannett Furlough: Don't Let Feds Catch You Working!
NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein

Posted on 01/15/2009 3:34:39 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest

The news that the Gannett Company--the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, flagship USA Today--is forcing thousands of its employees to take unpaid leave is the latest, shocking, evidence of the ill health of the old media.

But for present purposes, let's focus on this odd nugget: Gannett has informed its employees that pursuant to federal and state law, they [emphasis added]:

must not work while on an unpaid leave. That includes reading or responding to e-mails, calling or responding to calls from colleagues and being on site at your location at any time during your furlough days.

Can't you just imagine the scenario? A conscientious furloughed Gannett employee is at home trying to stay current by reading some emails, when suddenly comes a battering at the door: "FBI! Put down the mouse and step slowly away from your computer!"

(Excerpt) Read more at newsbusters.org ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: furlough; gannett; usatoday

1 posted on 01/15/2009 3:34:39 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; Miss Marple; an amused spectator; netmilsmom; Diogenesis; MEG33; PGalt; ...

Put down the mouse ping to Today show list.


2 posted on 01/15/2009 3:35:26 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Keeping track of the MSM so you don't have to!)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

This is proof that liberal, one sided journalism, doesn’t work!!

What I don’t understand is why they cannot see this.


3 posted on 01/15/2009 3:42:41 AM PST by chainsaw
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

in a way it’s a good think that Gannett has furloughed itself. no more junk to contribute to the MSM.


4 posted on 01/15/2009 4:00:42 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Good Morning Mr & Mrs Scooter and All The Ships At Sea)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
But for present purposes, let's focus on this odd nugget: Gannett has informed its employees that pursuant to federal and state law, they [emphasis added]: must not work while on an unpaid leave. That includes reading or responding to e-mails, calling or responding to calls from colleagues and being on site at your location at any time during your furlough days.

There is nothing at all odd about this "nugget." It is a long established policy of this country (Federal law) that you cannot do work 'off the clock.' Companies are sued for such behavior.

5 posted on 01/15/2009 4:03:33 AM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: EBH

It might be long-established law, but the notion that people aren’t free to volunteer their services to help save their employer and their jobs strikes me as odd.


6 posted on 01/15/2009 4:06:49 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Keeping track of the MSM so you don't have to!)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Are they unionized?


7 posted on 01/15/2009 4:14:15 AM PST by FrogMom (Lord, help us all!)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

No, they are furloughed. That means their are still employed and they can’t work off the clock.

If you as the employee work off the clock “voluntarily,” your employer is still legally obligated to pay you. You get paid if your employer allows you to work. It doesn’t matter a hoot what sort of agreement there is between the employer and employee.

For instance, many of us have had a boss say “no overtime,” but also say, “you must get this done before tomorrow morning’s Executive meeting.” So what do you do? You work the time and get the job done. The boss is probably hoping that you just do the work for free. But even if you agreed to no overtime and then worked overtime anyway, the employer MUST pay for all time that was actually worked.

The only way an employer can really stop an employee from working is to send the employee home. I repeat, the only way an employer can really stop an employee from working is to send the employee home.


8 posted on 01/15/2009 4:25:09 AM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/hoursworked/sufferpermit.asp

Know your labor laws. Let Gannet suffer this result, the libs basically wrote them.


9 posted on 01/15/2009 4:28:02 AM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: EBH

Many thanks, EBH—you obviously have real expertise in the area. The rule does strike me as strange!


10 posted on 01/15/2009 4:31:33 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Keeping track of the MSM so you don't have to!)
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To: chainsaw

“What I don’t understand is why they cannot see this.”

They do. The editors are all former 60’s radicals, so it is agenda driven. The publisher is wealthy. He could care less. The printers are all union. If the paper closes they all get paid off. The only writers left are wealthy.

The only ones significantly afected by a closure are the sales people, support staff and any moron who still has investments in the company. And you think the publisher gives a crap about them?

A


11 posted on 01/15/2009 4:37:03 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz ("Control the information, you control the people.")
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
Now, the fact that it is an un-paid furlough?

I don't know about that one, but I'd sure be looking for a new job. They basically screwed their employees by making it a “furlough,” instead of a layoff. Layoff=compensation. Furlough=$0.00

Gannett just still might find themselves in court for this stunt.

12 posted on 01/15/2009 4:37:11 AM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: EBH

I’ve updated at NewsBusters, crediting you. Thanks again.


13 posted on 01/15/2009 4:38:43 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Keeping track of the MSM so you don't have to!)
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To: EBH

Don’t (wink, wink) “officially” work off the clock (wink, wink)

I bet if anyone obeys this command, they will be looking for a job.


14 posted on 01/15/2009 4:51:31 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: EBH
There is nothing at all odd about this "nugget." It is a long established policy of this country (Federal law) that you cannot do work 'off the clock.' Companies are sued for such behavior.

Yes, and the problem doesn't arise out of those who care enough about their jobs to be willing to conduct business even without pay. It arises from those that decide to throw a surprise at their employer by keeping a notebook on all the extra hours they worked and then wanting overtime/back pay for it. If the employer doesn't make it as clear as possible, and sometimes even force people to leave, it is considered to be a tacit approval for which the employee can expect to be paid.

Another case of the dirt bags hurting the folks who are willing to do what it takes to make them and their company successful, even in hard times.

15 posted on 01/15/2009 5:25:47 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

I bet if they found some major dirt on Bush or another Republican they would call off the Furloughs, go into overtime and call in extra troops to get the dirt into print, and probably give away free papers so they can get more people to read about it.


16 posted on 01/15/2009 5:26:36 AM PST by ReformedBeckite
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Wow. Thanks, wasn’t looking for that. But if enough people don’t understand the labor laws they may just find their ‘good intentions’ get their beloved employer in more trouble.

It just seemed more odd to me that this was not understood by all. I mean we’ve all seen the Walmart trouble for ‘working off the clock.’ The law doesn’t only apply to Walmart folks.


17 posted on 01/15/2009 5:36:23 AM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: trebb

Are you so sure about that?

I took a job for an agreed upon wage. That wage is the promise of the employer to pay me for my efforts.

If said employer fails to manage the business appropriately and fails to pay my wage, at what point should I be trying to save his business?


18 posted on 01/15/2009 5:43:55 AM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: EBH

not really. Most of us can work from home quite effectively via the internet.


19 posted on 01/15/2009 5:46:37 AM PST by Mom MD (Jesus is the Light of the world!)
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To: EBH
Are you so sure about that?

I took a job for an agreed upon wage. That wage is the promise of the employer to pay me for my efforts.

If said employer fails to manage the business appropriately and fails to pay my wage, at what point should I be trying to save his business?

Your wage depends upon you being there and doing what the employer wants WHEN the employer directs you to be there. If you decide to put in a lot of hours of overtime, without being asked/directed to do it, the employer doesn't owe you for it, unless they were aware of it and did nothing to stop it. If the employer says they have to furlough you or lay you off, and you decide to work anyway, the employer is not responsible to pay you for your efforts - in fact that would be counter to the intention of the furlough/layoff. Same for overtime - unless the employer directs you to put in overtime, you cannot expect pay for your decision to put in the extra.

As far as why you should do it, there can be a number of reasons. It may be a great company going through a hard spell and fighting for it's life. If there are real manpower cuts in the offing, it may help designate you as one who deserves to be part of the smaller team. Some time ago, Southwest folks took a pay cut to continue working - that's not much different than working more hours without the extra compensation, except legally.

Heck, I enlisted in the military for an agreed on wage, opportunity to be promoted, health benefits, retirement, etc. In the end, the government decided that my health care for life would no longer be "free", but I now have to pay for health care insurance and even co pays. If the government can't/won't keep it's promises, and it meddles in things that affect my company, why expect my company to do better? Sometimes discretion is a deciding factor - where are you as far as employment/retirement opportunities compared to what would happen if you bailed?

20 posted on 01/15/2009 6:07:56 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: EBH

Do these laws apply to management/supervisory employees? Those would be the ones most likely to ‘work’ through a furlough.

I can’t imagine a manager not responding to an email until 9:01am on the day his/her furlough is over. Would Gannett otherwise have to close down their company email accounts during that period?

Does the NEA enforce these laws for teachers who bring work home? I can hardly think of a teacher who doesn’t bring work home, but never heard of putting in for payment for that time.

Makes me happy I am self-employed!


21 posted on 01/15/2009 10:03:46 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: trebb

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/hoursworked/sufferpermit.asp

.


22 posted on 01/15/2009 3:57:18 PM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: EDINVA

Exemptions

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp


23 posted on 01/15/2009 4:00:21 PM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: EDINVA
Do these laws apply to management/supervisory employees? Those would be the ones most likely to ‘work’ through a furlough

They apply across the board, but those of us in management positions are less likely to put in work, then complain about it. We, by law, are automatically eligible for comp time vs. pay for overtime - to get pay takes a special request that needs to be approved from higher ups. The non-supervisory positions are still allowed to be in the unions and they automatically get pay for overtime, unless they specifically request comp time. The union-eligible folks are still supposed to be notified that they are being tasked for overtime, and there are procedures to approve the overtime so the budget doesn't get busted.

There have been cases of employees hanging around before and after work, without permission, and keeping log books of their "overtime", then surprising management with demands for overtime pay. One such case got a lot of pay, then tried to do it all over again and his boss had to have him escorted from the work area by law enforcement on the base. Due to the federal rules, the guy couldn't be formally disciplined or terminated because it's management's job to ensure they only "work" when they are supposed to. The bureaucracy makes it a bit tough on management at times.

24 posted on 01/16/2009 6:12:09 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: trebb

Sounds dreadful!

The nice thing, they say, about self-employment is that you can ‘make your own hours,’ to which I respond, “yeah, you can work any 24 hours in a day you want!” And I have put in PLENTY of 24 hour days. Still, I’d prefer that to being told when I can and cannot work, or being told I can’t work when a job needs to be done.

But with people willing to loiter around the office so they can later file for OT, I guess it all has to be very closely monitored. It’s a shame we’ve gotten to the point where people can’t assume an honest day’s work for an honest wage and let it go at that.


25 posted on 01/16/2009 8:27:10 AM PST by EDINVA
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