I have been working for a startup for a period of time, which performs consulting work.
There has been a fair amount of pressure for individuals to meet a given number of 'billed' or 'billable' hours in any given week, which makes sense, as we're consultants.
The problem is that lately there has been pressure from management to start billing clients for time that wasn't spent on work to support the clients.
Things like a daily 15 minute meeting (1.25 Hours per week), an hour's worth of meetings at the end of the week along with various random other internal meetings, or even time that's spent on internal work, all of these, we're asked to just round whatever client we're working on for the majority of the day up to 8 hours to cover.
There's been a lot of pushback from employees on this, because it feels downright unethical, if not illegal. The question comes up, frequently, after spending any period of time on something that's related to internal work and not related to any of our clients, "Who should I bill for this?"
There have been days where I was not in the office for a full day, due to a late return flight from a travel arrangement, and was asked to submit 8 hours of time for a customer instead of the 5 or so hours that I was in the office.
My question to you: Is this ethical? Is this legal?