forcing change of employment status

We have a good employee who worked for us for nine years, voluntarily terminated employment almost two years ago to take care of disabled wife, and returned as a temporary (but full time) employee last May. Based on the requirements in our personnel policy, I advised the Executive Director that the employee worked over the temporary versus regular status time limits (1250 hours in a 12 month period) back in February. The ED brought in the employee and advised him that his status was about to change, making him eligible for fringe benefits that included paid time off, insurance, etc. The flip side was that we'd have to put him back in the approved pay scale, which would drop his hourly rate over $2 per hour. Employee refused the conversion, and ED aquiesced, "for the time being." Now other ees in that department want to drop their paid time off accrual and other benefits to make as much per hour as Temp ee. ED and ee seem to be happy with the arrangement but it's wreaking havoc with Temp ee's coworkers' morale, and it's spreading to other departments.

How do I assist the ED in understanding what this "special arrangement" is doing to her organization, and how likely is it that she'll ever give this ee the take it or leave it ultimatum?



  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • If I understand the situation correctly, you pay the temp EEs a higher hourly rate than the regular EEs. You did not say it, but I am guessing the differential is based on the cost of benefits the regular EEs get that the temps do not.

    This is your company policy.

    A couple of things to consider - why not amend your policy and allow the EEs to select either the benefits or the pay?

    The pay is taxable - to both the EEs and the Company. This should be included in the differential calculation - the additional cost to the company in FICA and Medi. Their may eventually be an additional cost to the benefit structure if lots of people select the pay option and the size of the group causes the benefit costs to increase (perhaps difficult to determine).

    For the EEs, they are trading non-taxable benefits for taxable pay. It may not be a great trade-off for them, but if the differential is calculated properly - the bottom line cost to the company should be a wash.

  • **This post contains reference to three Replies**
    Actually, the differential in pay came from the employee himself. We approached him to see if he'd be willing to come back to work on a temporary basis to cover the additional workload summer brings to that department, and he flat out stated he'd do it for no less than $15 per hour (instead of the $12-14 others receive). Before he'd left us the first time, he gave input that the whole department was grossly underpaid in comparison to other "similar" positions in the area and nationally (our wage surveys showed we pay them slightly lower than average). The ED agreed to pay the $15 per hour for a "short time" (thru the summer) and then rethink the arrangement. Our fiscal year ends 9/30, and by the time the "rethinking" was accomplished, we'd found more funding for this unusual employment arrangement, though I pointed out to the ED in October that we'd have to keep an eye on the number of hours worked. Well, the time limit arrived as we discovered we were running out of funding, so now the ED is bending the policy to keep a good performer from leaving again.

    The ED is the only person with the power to hire/fire, and is technically the personnel director. That's how she gets to run the organization as "her own playground." Plus she's a short timer (retires next summer), so she won't be around to see the long term consequences of her present actions. Which, of course, leaves me and her management team in the lurch.

  • Employee refused the conversion, and ED aquiesced, "for the time being."

    The ED gave him a choice? Why on earth would he do that? I don't wonder you have a morale problem. Follow company policy, no longer a temp because of the time limits.
  • Sounds like to me the Executive Director is operating the organization as if it were her personal playhouse. Does she get involved in the basics of everything else that perhaps she should keep her nose out of?

    I've never heard of paying temps more than employees as some sort of differential because they don't have benefits.

    It's unfortunate that you would have to convince the Director that a policy should be followed. As 'The Metermaid' said, follow your policy.
Sign In or Register to comment.