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Without any explanation, and with only a weekend's worth of notice, a new early morning check-in was placed on my schedule, basically, as soon as I wake up I'm expected to check for any new requests that came in overnight on weekdays, and I check once on the weekends. The second day into this new schedule, I was given an explanation and told that I could leave a half-hour early on Fridays, or earlier if I had to deal with any urgent requests immediately on seeing them.

This has raised many issues regarding overtime, scheduling, and work-life balance.

Previously, the company has been very generous, allowing flexibility in daily schedules, and this came down as a hard edict out of nowhere with absolutely no forewarning or discussion. IIRC there is supposed to be more notice given for a schedule change. Further, my hours have not been otherwise changed, so I will be working overtime since California requires that non-agricultural workers be paid overtime past 8 hours in a day.

Complicating things is hard company policy that non-priorly approved overtime will not be paid (which seems to be illegal in California), and I have been told that the only recompense for the check-ins will be the flextime on Fridays.

I find their estimate of 30 minutes returned in exchange for 6 check-ins over the week to be extremely optimistic, as that leaves 5 minutes for each event which so far have averaged more than 10. We also round to the nearest 15 minutes on our timesheets, but I imagine that the least important issue here.

Finally, legal issues aside, I feel strongly betrayed by the company and management that previously respected my time outside of work and on weekends.

How should I approach this situation with management?

  • Are you exempt or non-exempt? – Patricia Shanahan Jun 7 at 3:26
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    non-exempt, pay is hourly. – JWBH Jun 7 at 4:03
  • The goal is to work out how to approach management. The OP should review the labor law notices that should be posted someone all employees frequent. Make notes of the rules on working hours and overtime this arrangement breaks. Take that to the manager, pointing out that the employer is at legal risk, and suggest alternative arrangements. – Patricia Shanahan Jun 7 at 9:32
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    Is there an issue with the calculation in the question? 6 check-ins at 15 minutes minimum per question would be 1.5 hours. "30 minutes returned in exchange" for 1.5 hours of "time" is a ripoff. How time is calculated outside of hours in this type of scenario is very important. In some work places taking a call costs the organization 30 minutes or an hour. This usually puts management off doing this to employees without first trying to negotiate. – Underverse Jun 7 at 11:13
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    What does "checking in" actually involve? If a message arrives on Saturday saying the office is on fire, can you just message back that you have got that, and you will look into it on Monday when you arrive at work? – Simon B Jun 8 at 15:14
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How should I approach this situation with management?

Have a conversation with your manager, or another leader at the organization whom you trust and respect.

Some things you should address:

1. Why have the check-ins been added to the daily routine? The first issue here is that you're being asked to participate in something without understanding what it is designed to accomplish -- this alone may change how you feel about the calls.

2. Why are the early morning / weekend times important? Perhaps the time was just the only time available on everyone's calendar -- in which case the time can change. Or maybe it's important for international team members to be on the call, in which case there likely isn't a good time for everyone.

3. Share your feelings and frustrations about the recent change: The impact the schedule is having on you may not be known to the team or individual who designed the new process. Make your experience known.

4. Verify that you're being compensated for your time: If you're paid hourly, then you should clock in for the time of the call. If you're salaried non-exempt, you should also ensure the time is reflected on your timesheet. Don't work overtime if your manager refuses to approve it.

5. Ask for alternatives: If the time can't change, it may not be necessary for you to be on every call. Or you may be able to alternate with other team members -- informing them when they need to be aware of something shared on the call.


Frequent (multiple times a day) check-ins are common in high-functioning teams. A team trying them out for the first time may take some time to learn how to be succinct and productive. You may find that the calls improve as individuals learn how to best use the check-in forum.

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    We got a brief update on the situation. For 1, "This isn't a new thing", with the explanation that a team in another time zone used to handle this. This is otherwise very new to our office and is for maintaining a high level of temporal coverage. Also, a very helpful answer! – JWBH Jun 9 at 16:39

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