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No more overtime...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sweetbreads bailey, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    you misunderstood nothing.
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    That's correct, and you are getting screwed out of the time-and-a-half.
  3. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    But it's better than getting nothing, which is what some get. Work 60, get paid for 40.
  4. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    which is illegal in all 50 states.
  5. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Doesnt' mean it doesn't happen.

    Talked with one of our writers (I'm currently part desk, part beatwork) and he said that when he would work an extra desk shift, he claimed overtime, but he didn't for writing work because he knew when he signed up that it wasn't a 40-hour-a-week job.

    If I put in every hour I worked, I'd have been fired or we would have dropped the beat long ago.
  6. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    That Heartland ad has one of my biggest red flags: Referring to people as "that" instead of "who." Not a good sign. Many bad signs there, of course.
  7. Pi

    Pi Member

    Worked at one place that paid only half time for OT hours. Took your base pay, divided it by the total hours you worked, then gave half of that for every OT hour worked. I asked the head of HR how they could legally get away with paying me less than minimum wage for the OT, and the response was "Your 40 hours is your full time, anything after that is the 'and a half'.
    So by the $10 and hour example ($400 per week), working 50 hours meant $4 for each hour of OT

    Figured out quickly that 48 hours was the point of diminishing returns and started padding the mileage report.
  8. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    See if the state's labor department would agree with that interpretation of the law.
  9. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    At one of my previous shops, I left with about $2,000 worth of uncompensated overtime. I figured that if I called them on it by turning them in to the department of labor, every prospective newspaper employer from that point forward would get a not-so-glowing reference. Burns me now every time I think about it. Someone did turn them in a few years after I left and it got ugly. They went to tee-totaling time cards and had to pay, from what I heard, a hefty fine.

    Ah, good times.
  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I knew coming in that this gig wouldn't be the normal by-the-hour gig. I mean, how do you know what to claim?

    If I'm on the shitter at 3 a.m., thinking about the lede to a feature I need to write, does that count? If I'm on the net looking up info for a story, while also surfing this site, deadspin, and my favorite porn sites, how much of that time counts?

    If I'm out of town on assignment, does the plane flight count as time worked? What about the time I'm sitting at the hotel, watching "Seinfeld?" Does that count, since, if it weren't for work, I'd be watching at home with my family? What if I go to dinner on the road with an SID or PR guy? Or a fellow reporter, and we wind up discussing things beat-related?

    We once had an old crotchety high school reporter sent out of town for an assignment. He claimed 24 hours worked for every day he was gone, since, you know he wasn't at home. They never sent him out of town again.

    And what's my recourse if a paper won't pay overtime?

    If I get to 40 hours, but a coach gets fired, do I refuse to do the story? It might be a great "fuck you" moment, but my own personal sense of pride won't allow me to do that. In fact, it would also be like a double punishment not to get to get my hands dirty on a big story.

    I knew coming in the by-the-hour pay in this business was bs. If I wanted to actually get paid for the hours I worked, I would have gotten into another line of work.

    I know that burns a lot of you. I know it makes me a pseudo-slave. But I don't give a shit. I love what I do. I'm not in it for the money. And if you are ... for God's sake, why did you choose sportswriting?
  11. sgaleadfoot

    sgaleadfoot Member

    two things:

    No. 1, having started in the business at a heartland paper, the above news isn't surprising.

    No. 2: at my current place, writers get no OT. Deskers, however, do.
  12. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Some guy: I don't think people become sportswriters for the money, but that doesn't mean you take a vow of poverty. If you spend extra time and get good stories, there may be a payoff in terms of developing skills for a better job.

    The thing is, generally the owner of the paper IS in it for the money. The issue is being played for a chump - and show me a person who gets played for a chump and I'll show you somebody who isn't a good journalist.
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