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First, some background. I live and work in the US and have 18 years experience in my engineering career across a variety of industries. All of my experience has been focused on product development, but I have only been with my latest employer for about 7 months.

So, on to the issue at hand...my boss recently sent out a notice to the engineers in the department, that we're now expected to work 6 Saturdays/year as "manufacturing floor support". This is in addition to the normal workweek and those weekends we work at our discretion to support our ongoing projects. When I asked what exactly we're supposed to do as "manufacturing floor support", I was told that the "manufacturing (hourly) guys are complaining because they have to work weekends and the engineers don't so it's time to share the pain". That neglects the fact that they get overtime pay and since we're salaried, our paychecks stay the same.

Personally, this really makes me angry. I work hard, I work smart and I get things done and I feel like this is a kick in the teeth. I place a very high value on my weekend time, especially the weekends I have with my kids. I can't leave them alone at home and I can't bring them to work. We're not getting any extra pay, no additional time off, nothing. I feel like this is simply a bridge too far and I should start networking, looking for a new employer.

Am I justified in being this angry about this, or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Is adding mandatory weekend work a common practice in other fields?

closed as off-topic by Kent A., Justin Cave, Dawny33, scaaahu, gnat Oct 28 '15 at 5:56

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    This is going to be very opinion based. It will very likely be closed as off-topic for being either primarily opinion based or not an answerable question because there is no clear answer. – Jane S Oct 28 '15 at 1:57
  • The real question that you should ask: Can a salaried employee be asked to work on Saturdays with a reason like this, and how can I tell my boss that this is a bad idea? – gnasher729 Oct 28 '15 at 2:02
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    @DLS3141 - No, this is not common practice. This is the stupidest thing I have heard of so far. Clear out your desk. Don't have any personal items at all at work. Something tells me you're going to be leaving with 2 minutes' notice, and you'll probably have company. – Wesley Long Oct 28 '15 at 2:17
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    Don't get angry. Get interviewing. – Carson63000 Oct 28 '15 at 3:01
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    Does it matter if we think your anger at the situation is justified or not? I don't think that's really the issue, is it? – DA. Oct 28 '15 at 4:41
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I don't even come close to believing these hourly people are complaining about time and a half on weekends.

This is a (weakly veiled) cost cutting measure period.

The opposite. Hourly manufacturing is going to complain about loss of hours and overtime.

Mandatory "covering" for hourly is not common. If hourly was union this would not happen. This is not a good policy. It will piss off both hourly and salary employees.

You did not get degree in engineering to work the floor on weekends. To me this is like asking you to stay after and mop floors for free. I worked as a engineer at an plant and if union went out on strike yes we covered. But we got 3x pay to cover.

  • I didn't read it as salaried folks taking over for hourly folks on the weekend. I read it as "if we have to be here on Saturday, they should be here too." Which, IMHO, is even worse. – alroc Oct 28 '15 at 2:41
  • @alroc If it is "share time" that is even worse! If management is doing this to appease and not a cost cutting measure then OUCH. For sure I would look for another job. – paparazzo Oct 28 '15 at 2:49
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It is stupid, and it is in no way justified. The work that you are supposed to do is not part of your salaried work. There is no business reason why you should be there on these saturdays. You are perfectly justified to be angry. You are also perfectly justified to refuse, since this is definitely not something that anyone can request you to do as a salaried employee.

You should look for a new job immediately. As always the advice: Don't quit the old job until you have signed for a new job. I would assume that you are not the only one wanting to leave under these conditions.

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