Throwaway account because others can trace accounts back to me and my company.
Related to Unethical Billing Practices?, but different question.
I work for a software development company, and I work for several customers to which we bill time according to the hours we track on their projects.
I'm also participating in internal activities meant to formalize a department, set up standards and generally tidy up some processes.
My company is asking me to bill these hours to my current customer, under these reasons:
- If it's only a few hours, they really don't mind (not sure about that, I've been asked to hide this from them)
- It also benefits them, because we're making our processes better (I'm sure getting a good night's sleep also helps to be productive, but we don't charge that)
- We're still available to them so it makes sense to bill them (I'm pretty sure the client is not aware of paying for "standby" time)
The company has a policy for transparency a partnership, so I'm pretty sure this shouldn't fly, but it does, since management is pressuring me in performing this practice. The policy is not specific at all, it's just a vague description of ... well, transparency and partnership.
This is a job I really like and I would like to keep, but I feel uncomfortable in such situations, up to the point where I have offered to work these hours for free. (Not considered seriously yet, and I'm glad because I have better things to do with my time.)
Now, in the linked question (Unethical Billing Practices?) it was perfectly established that this is unethical and even illegal.
How can I convince management to reconsider this?