So the situation is,I'm leaving my company in three weeks as I was very underpaid for my experience and I found a fairly good opportunity. Even though I want to do it gracefuly, the situation is degrading very fast as days pass by.

First, I've been communicated that I won't be paid for the summertime forced overtime, that is stated in the company internal governance rules will be compensated "by default" with free time to a given ratio benefitial to the employee. The number of hours that I am loosing here is quite big ( three digit number), obviously the expectative of loosing them all raises hard feelings on me.

In the meantime, the company is in the counter-offer phase. Even though I won't consider it, how they expect me to do so with above situation? Are they nuts? Got to say that the project I am currently in is critical for the company, and I'm probably the most experienced member in terms of the technology and customer's business knowledge.

I'm currently on vacation and I am expected to return for two weeks before leaving definitely, just to perform the best knowledge transfer that I can. Now, is it un-professional to say that "I won't be coming back as I am forced to compensate the summer overtime hours"? In that scenario I will be compensating hours with nobody's approval, and I will be putting my current project in a rather risky situation. Obviously the brige will be burnt here.

On the other hand, If I come back I will be working for free, and I will be asked 150% performance as usual. Doesn't look like a healthy way to end this phase anyway.

EDIT: I forgot to note a very important fact. Free time has to be approved by my manager, so if I decide to compensate myself those hours it will probably be done without anybody's approval, opening the gate for future problems and a very tense situation.

**UPDATE: I've just being told by the manager,that it's up to me:

  • To transfer my knowledge and leave gracefuly. Won't be paid.

  • To take that overtime and burning the bridge forever.

This is in southern Europe.


First, I've been communicated that I won't be paid for the summertime forced overtime

So answer that communication that you will have to take the two weeks off in lieu of the overtime unless they have another solution.

That leaves the ball in their court and you can go forwards from their reply.

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Adding to the existing answers: some negotiation advice, assuming you want to get paid for your overtime and still do your two weeks of knowledge tranfser

  • Don't threaten directly or be aggressive from the start.
  • Approach it directly with your manager (first) but give them a chance to agree and save face at the same time
  • Start easy: "Hey boss, I'm confused. My contract says that I should be compensated free time for over time worked but apparently that's not happening for the 120 hours I did on summer. Can you explain to me why the contract isn't followed here?
  • Turn it up, if you need to: "Sorry, according to the contract, I'm owned 120 hours of free time. If that doesn't get paid out, I'm afraid I have to take it out of the notice period. If you disagree, please explain why my interpretation of the contract is wrong".
  • If that doesn't work. "Sorry, I think we have to agree to disagree here. I will get this looked over by my lawyer to make sure this is a correct interpretation".
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I assume that southern European country is in EU and I assume that this "company internal governance rules" is in fact agreement between you and your company you singed when joining.

Just inform your immediate supervisor that due to company policy and said agreement you cannot work for the remaining two weeks. Because you cannot work if you agreed to compensate overtime with free time.

Any other resolution (as be paid for the time) would require offer from HR with rate per hour compensation for your overtime.

Also please check if your country Labours law don't require set window to take free time (in some countries you have one month after the month overtime happened).

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  • Well, you don't even firm anything in such lines. It's just rules that you can find on the company's intranet with respect exceptional situations . In my case in order to set free time you need your manager's approval, which in this situation is kind of impossible. That's the problem here, If I take the freetime without any approval I am risking a myriad of consequences, all of them negative for me. – itpeoplequestions Aug 7 '18 at 9:03
  • Look into your contract if there are anything about overtime. Then check your country laws if they are Legislature and/or agreement. If the rules about overtime is "company policy" but not your personal deal with them then it cannot be above legislature. You cannot be forced to resign from using overtime while at the same time being denied financial compensation. It need to be one of those things. – SZCZERZO KŁY Aug 7 '18 at 9:09
  • Upvoting because it calls for you to know your legal rights. That's important to know in negotiations. – David Thornley Aug 10 '18 at 16:06

In light of your update I'd say the "bridges are burned" already (by the management by the way).

Seek legal counsel immediately to get the most out of an already bad situation.

Usually you would be compensated for overtime, especially if it is mandatory.

Depending on your country that might well be embedded in law.

Hopefully that default company rule is also in your contract or you at least have it somewhere in writing.

Why are you now NOT being paid for the last two weeks for KT either? That sounds incorrect and inacceptable. Or did you mean you're not being paid for the summer overtime work?


If they really need you for the KT time, you might have something to bargain with to ensure overtime compensation, though it sounds less probable considering they let you "decide" to "burn the bridges"...quite sneaky that one too.

Also, be honest, would you even care to ever work for this company again?

Though they also might bad mouth you, which probably is a bigger problem than not working for them again.

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  • First two words should be "in view" rather than "in lieu". Unfortunately, I can't edit and change fewer than eight characters. – David Thornley Aug 15 '18 at 16:19
  • @DavidThornley thanks for pointing this out. edited to reflect what I meant to say. – DigitalBlade969 Aug 15 '18 at 17:53

Definitely don't take unilateral action without at least discussing it with your manager first. Taking the remaining two weeks of your employment off "in lieu" of the unpaid overtime seems like the obvious solution, but you've already made it clear that this isn't going to be well received by your employer.

Your contract states that you are due free time to compensate for the overtime. Assuming your country has decent labour laws, then your employer cannot simply ignore this contractual obligation. The question is, how you can reach agreement with them in a way that suits both parties. You have options I see as:

  1. You work the remaining two weeks to complete handover (KT) to your employer's satisfaction, and they agree to pay you for the overtime in lieu of you reclaiming this back.
  2. You get them to agree to you not working the two weeks as compensation for the overtime.

Option 1 is risky for you: I would want something in writing regarding the payment for overtime before I agreed to this action. Option 2 is bad for them, because if you are integral to the team and have important knowledge, they won't want you to leave without a handover.

I think you need to use your leverage of forcing option 2, to get them to put in writing option 1. If they put it in writing and don't pay, you should be able to force payment via threat of legal action.

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I would discuss this matter with my direct manager - the company should decide which option is better for them: pay you for the overtime, or return your hours as free time, without proper KT. As you said - this is default, but your situation isn't default.

I think that only reasonable solution is to pay you, and allow to do the KT, but that is really up to them.

100+ hours means it is more than half of the month, I wouldn't just walk away from that.

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