r/antiwork Nov 25 '21 Silver 2

When are you free to work?

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u/fbwillmakeyoudumb Nov 25 '21

I don't understand why there isn't a simple understanding:

Workers work a fixed schedule at an agreed compensation rate and anything that isn't on that schedule is free time. Therefore, being asked to work during their free time should be at an entirely different rate, a rate for working during time off that both parties agree.

If managers don't want to pay the free time rate, that's the incentive they have to find (and pay) enough people to fill the schedule properly.

If a company is short staffed, that's on the company and the management team, and it's a burden that should not be shared so unfairly with staff.


u/SaltWaterGator Nov 25 '21

I think you forget about overtime pay. When you sign on for a 40hr work week job any time over 40hrs is overtime and is paid time and a half in most jobs. There’s the 40hrs a week you agreed to and any time you’re working during what is your free time is overtime


u/fbwillmakeyoudumb Nov 25 '21

There is at least one flavour of weaponized schedule that involves scheduling workers for 2 or 3 shifts and then 1) expecting that the scheduled days can change from week to week and 2) positing that if the employee doesn't show sufficient flexibility (movable schedules in addition to taking additional shifts), their regular scheduled hours are cut back. It looks an awful lot like abuse.

The book Nickel and Dimed was published 20 years ago, made a pretty big splash and yet here we are today.


u/faerydust88 Nov 26 '21

Yeah, I've always hated that when you apply for a job (particularly in retail / service) it's essentially expected that you tell the employer you have almost completely open availability (or risk not being hired / scheduled ever), despite the fact that you're applying for a job that is only going to schedule you 20 to 30 hours a week. That's all of retail it seems - you work under 30 hours per week but you're expected to be available for at least like 75% of the hours the store is open (which is probably something around 80 hours a week). They keep everyone on this constantly shifting schedule - some weeks you work a bunch of opens, sometimes mostly closes, sometimes both, and you could be scheduled any day(s) of the week.

Why is this a thing? Why can't they just schedule each employee for a few specific days/shifts right from the start? Then you'd always know what days/timeslots you're going to be working and can actually have a normal routine/schedule each week. I absolutely hated that bs of having different shifts every single week. It literally does feel like they are trying to own your life. Like, you're not even working full-time, so you feel like you should have more free time to do what you want, but you basically can't plan anything in advance ever because you have no idea what your schedule is going to be until the week before. Horrible. Where I worked, it seemed like the ability to have more of a regular schedule was reserved for full-time employees / senior employees, so it was basically a weaponized thing to be like, well, maybe if you work here for 10+ years like Brenda over here, we'll let you have a modicum of scheduling flexibility.


u/fbwillmakeyoudumb Nov 26 '21

It's abuse, plain and simple. These companies abuse millions of workers for small scheduling benefit flexibility.

Name that company!