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Reboot Your Computer, Don't Get Paid

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 25 comments

There are pros and cons to going with an hourly wage versus salary. One of the good things about an hourly wage is that you’re eligible for overtime. But if you work in a big corporate environment and you work with computers everyday, you may be in for a pay cut.

This week, news of several new lawsuits appeared from employees of big corporate companies. The employees are suing their respective employers for cutting their pay due to computer startup and reboot times. Essentially, the time you spend starting your computer or restarting it, for any reason, is accumulated and deducted from your pay.

The employees argue that this is highly unreasonable, and that boot times are part of the working process. Reboots are even more so as they could be caused by software errors or just bad hardware.

Law firms are indicating that this new type of lawsuit is becoming more common. During a time when many companies are scaling back and tightening their belts, cost cuts are looked at from every possible angle.

Look out for washroom break lawsuits to come soon!

Read more at the National Law Journal.

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  • 14 Hide
    slomo4sho , November 20, 2008 11:43 PM
    This is hilarious. CEOs and other top executives are getting bonuses for bankrupting the companies they are in charge of but the average employee is being told they won't get paid to work because of system failures... Does anyone else see a flaw in the system?

  • 10 Hide
    shovel , November 21, 2008 1:21 AM
    I used to work for a Telecoms company that tried this...

    We had to power up the PC & log into the lan, then log into about 20 or more systems - it took an average of 10-20 minutes if the lan was running ok, the record was 50 mins... As we were in a call centre environmnet, our boss tried to get us to come in 30 mins before our "start time" so we'd be ready to go when our shift started. This would be unpaid time of course... then he tried to get us to log out & shut down in our own time as well (this could take another 10-15 minutes, because the systems ware crap.)

    So he wanted us (over 100 people)to spend about an extra hour at work every day unpaid... If your system did crash (often), then you had to go on your break (which you lost) while you sat there rebooting & logging back in.

    Of course, he always arrived late, went early & was never accountable for anything...

    Needless to say, this company (which I no longer work for) is going down the tubes...
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    Dekasav , November 20, 2008 11:19 PM
    Shows the kind of dire situation we're in. Companies want to cut costs anywhere they can, and employees are too afraid to lose a few bucks that this is important.

    I side with the employees, though. If I'm not in charge of what gets put on the pc, or in charge of the hardware it's composed of, I'm not taking responsibility for necessary reboots.
  • 0 Hide
    dechy , November 20, 2008 11:20 PM
    ROFL, you have GOT to be kidding... only in the US of Asses

    I hate this country more and more.
  • 3 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 20, 2008 11:29 PM
    So when are they going to file claims against Microsoft or the power company?
  • 14 Hide
    slomo4sho , November 20, 2008 11:43 PM
    This is hilarious. CEOs and other top executives are getting bonuses for bankrupting the companies they are in charge of but the average employee is being told they won't get paid to work because of system failures... Does anyone else see a flaw in the system?

  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , November 20, 2008 11:54 PM
    :lol:  Why don't they start by shutting down PCs at night? Many companies keep the PCs running over night. My school is guilty of it.
  • -1 Hide
    malveaux , November 21, 2008 12:45 AM
    These days, butterfly farts are news.

    Next?
  • 10 Hide
    shovel , November 21, 2008 1:21 AM
    I used to work for a Telecoms company that tried this...

    We had to power up the PC & log into the lan, then log into about 20 or more systems - it took an average of 10-20 minutes if the lan was running ok, the record was 50 mins... As we were in a call centre environmnet, our boss tried to get us to come in 30 mins before our "start time" so we'd be ready to go when our shift started. This would be unpaid time of course... then he tried to get us to log out & shut down in our own time as well (this could take another 10-15 minutes, because the systems ware crap.)

    So he wanted us (over 100 people)to spend about an extra hour at work every day unpaid... If your system did crash (often), then you had to go on your break (which you lost) while you sat there rebooting & logging back in.

    Of course, he always arrived late, went early & was never accountable for anything...

    Needless to say, this company (which I no longer work for) is going down the tubes...
  • 0 Hide
    one-shot , November 21, 2008 1:58 AM
    I have a similar experience in a call center environment. We were actually given six minutes at the start, and after lunch to sign in to five systems. Some systems we had to sign in to while on calls because it so long to access everything. +1 to Justice. Now, lets just see it Prevail!
  • -3 Hide
    turbolover22 , November 21, 2008 2:38 AM
    tHIS KIND OF $#!7 tHIS KIND OF $#!7 DOESN'T SURPRISE ME AT ALL. My COMPANY THAT i WORK FOR RIGHT NOW HAS SOMEONE THAT WALKS AROUND WATCHING TO SEE HOW MUCH TIME PEOPLE SPEND ON THE INTERNET. Talk about wasted productivity. nOT TOO LONG AGO i GOT IN TROUBLE FOR ONLY HAVING 38.5 HOURS BEING PHYSICALLY INSIDE THE BUILDING., EVEN THOUGH i AM A SALARIED EMPLOYEE. i HOPE THAT NOBODY FROM MY WORK READS THIS SITE BECAUSE IF THEY SEE MY NEXT COMMENT THEY MAY ACTUALLY TRY TO IMPLEMENT IT. A couple of us were joking the other day that pretty soon we will have to scan our badges before we can go into the bathroom. Then scan them when we come back out. Any time that was spent inside would have to be made up by staying late.


    The text box isn't scrolling properly and I can't see anything that I type so I apologize for any spelling errors.DOESN'T SURPRISE ME AT ALL. mY COMPANY THAT i WORK FOR RIGHT NOW HAS SOMEONE THAT WALKS AROUND WATCHING TO SEE HOW MUCH TIME PEOPLE SPEND ON THE INTERNET. nOT TOO LONG AGO i GOT IN TROUBLE FOR ONLY HAVING 38.5 HOURS BEING PHYSICALLY INSIDE THE BUILDING., EVEN THOUGH i AM A SALARIED EMPLOYEE. i HOPE THAT NOBODY FROM MY WORK READS THIS SITE BECAUSE IF THEY SEE MY NEXT COMMENT THEY MAY ACTUALLY TRY TO IMPLEMENT IT.
  • 3 Hide
    afrobacon , November 21, 2008 2:56 AM
    the bad part is that they'll probably get away with it...

    my boss tried that out for a little while, some of us complained, some were too afraid to say anything about it for fear of losing their job; but the majority of us found that if were getting paid less we might as well work less. needless to say production went down more than 25%; the system didn't stay in place more than a couple weeks.
  • 0 Hide
    crosshares , November 21, 2008 2:56 AM
    Love the reboot picture. Reboot! (transforms into race car driver, get that mask!!!!)
  • 5 Hide
    enewmen , November 21, 2008 3:56 AM
    It seems all companies just want the cheapest workers, give as few benifits, provide the worst possible work environment, then outsourse any remaining workers. Hire only tempory workers, etc. The OPPOSITE of what Ford did in the 1930s. Is every company in the U.S. doing everything possible to race to the BOTTOM? It also seems China and India are on a race to the top while increasing budgets, attracting better workers, making better products, etc. Exports to the States and Europe is going down for obvious reasons. However, growth in Asis is still rising because of increasing domestic demand.
    Is everything being done to make our childrens future harder? Hope I didn't miss something - wait, cut SS as well.
  • -1 Hide
    zodiacfml , November 21, 2008 5:26 AM
    yes, it will be harder from competition in china and india. tsk.
  • 0 Hide
    badboy4dee , November 21, 2008 11:46 AM
    LOL, CE0's making MAJOR $$$ here and the working world gets pay cuts, lower benefits, no job security, crappy software purchase that I.T. Department never asked for. Our workstations are filled to the brim with services and agents. In the real world we call them root kits or spyware but in corporate US of A$$e$ (lol good1 Dechy). CE0's make millions driving companies into the ground while destroying retirements and careers. I vote for a mandatory CE0 blog for each S-corp with an itinerary of their "busy" day golfing and playing grab A$$ with miss hoochy. SCREW dem SOB's! they don't work, I say make them pay by lower production and by whatever means possible. Hey CE0s and VP's do it so why not follow their example?

    TSM
  • 3 Hide
    blackened144 , November 21, 2008 12:51 PM
    Its nice to work for a true IT company. We actually make our money selling information and design our own supercomputing clusters to manipulate, store and serve up said information. They treat us very well here and we use all the latest technology. They once floated the idea of not bringing in bagels on Friday mornings and people were pissed. There would be a full scale riot if they tried to do this here. But Ive been on the flip side and worked in the IT department of a management company. When the company is not in the IT business, the IT department is the WORST place you can possibly work in that company. No one wants to invest money in crap, your treated like crap, and when the crappy crap you have been working with finally breaks, its your ass. I could definitely see that place insituting this kind of policy. Not only that, I think they could even work in a way that when even one of the managers has to reboot, they take the pay out of someone in the IT department for making it so that the manager had to reboot.
  • -5 Hide
    squatchman , November 21, 2008 1:21 PM
    On one hand: The company should trust that the employee has enough common sense to actually get work done while their computer is booting up.

    On the other hand: These employees are probably US citizens. I wouldn't trust them to tie their shoes or make a left turn correctly when driving.

  • 1 Hide
    techtre2003 , November 21, 2008 2:25 PM
    Shadow703793Why don't they start by shutting down PCs at night? Many companies keep the PCs running over night. My school is guilty of it.


    Probably because that's when they have to run backups and updates. If that's not the case, then yes, that's a good point.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 21, 2008 3:58 PM
    I remember my first office jobs right out of college at a help desk support center (back when they were still in the US). Management stated that my workstation should be booted up and ready to take calls at 8AM and I should be available up to 5PM. Generally it took about 5 minutes to boot up and log in and 2 minutes to shut everything down. On many occasions we would receive calls just minutes before 5PM and have to stay over for several minutes until resolving the problem or passing it on to Level 2 support.

    The point here is that on any given day, my thinking at the time was that at a bare minimum I was "giving" the company 7 minutes of "my time" every day. Later of course I wised up. What else should I expect the company to pay me for "my time?" The commute time? The time to get out of bed, shower, eat breakfast, dress, and commute to the job? After all, that's "my time" needed to prepare for the job too that I'm not paid for, is it not? You are paid for the time you are actually on the job (as an hourly employee) and nothing else. On the other hand, not being paid because your computer blue screens and you have to reboot is ludicrous and deserves an employee-labor lawsuit for unpaid wages.
  • 3 Hide
    antilycus , November 21, 2008 4:24 PM
    it's not hard to figure out. Treat EACH non-managment employee as the lifeblood of your company (year cost of living increases, which DO NOT COUNT AS RAISES, flexible schedule, year pay increases). TO make money, you need to treat the people that get it done right, which requires spending money.

    Since this hasn't happened in the past 30 years (except for the BIG 3) the economy is tanking. The UAW was spot on, in regards to how to treat employees, the problem is they are the only ones doing it, which is backfiring on them now.
  • 1 Hide
    kamkal , November 21, 2008 5:34 PM

    what a ridiculous and petty idea.
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