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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Sending employees home (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Sending employees home
Brandon Willis
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 216
From: Richmond, VA, USA
Registered: Apr 2004

 - posted 08-02-2005 12:26 PM      Profile for Brandon Willis   Email Brandon Willis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What are everyone's thoughts on sending employees home to cut payroll? I personally HATE sending people home. I refuse to do it as much as possible. It's always my luck that it rains or something right after we send a bunch of people home and we get slammed. Plus, if we cut everyone's hours, they're going to quit and when we have a big movie opening we'll be screwed.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7991
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-02-2005 12:43 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had not heard of this practice until about a year ago.

If an employee is scheduled to work on specific hours of specific days and is sent home from work involuntarily (after showing up for work and possibly having given up other opportunites for work elsewhere) to cut payroll, that seems pretty unethical to me. The employee didn't do anything wrong, and it seems blatantly unfair for him to suffer due to a management error in scheduling. The burden for efficient use of payroll should fall upon the managers, not the floor staff.

I see no problem with giving employees the option of taking the day off, and only sending home those who volunteer to leave. Similarly, I don't see anything wrong with schedule changes, as long as they are made (and communicated) several days in advance.

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3835
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 08-02-2005 01:10 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a completely routine and normal practice here. And not just at the theaters. All of the hotel/casinos here work their hourly labor that way. Anyone that doesn't like it can just quit. Minimum-wage workers are plentiful here and it's not like the employer is losing some huge skill set when someone walks. Replacement training takes all of half a shift or so. So it's no big deal. It's one of the beauties of "at will" labor laws.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3184
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002

 - posted 08-02-2005 02:00 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most of our employees are young and would rather not be at work anyway most of the time.

...I guess it hasn't sunk in yet that if they leave their pay check goes down. But whatever the case, when we ask for volunteers to leave because we're not as busy as we thought we'd be, they usually line up to go home. The people who work because they want to make money usually end up staying, and almost all the time, everyone wins.

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Bill Gabel
Film God

Posts: 3873
From: Technicolor / Postworks NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 08-02-2005 02:13 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel   Email Bill Gabel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
I had not heard of this practice until about a year ago.
As Paul posted Its a completely routine and normal practice. Its been done for years now. We did it way back when I was in management in the late 70's. We would first ask who would like to go home early. Pacific Theatres the company I worked for had a staffing guideline to work from for our budget. If we fell below that special number that they came up with. We had to cut staff hours, as you know in this business. You never truly know how busy you are going to be. Unless you are working the flagship theatre for the company.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12445
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-02-2005 03:37 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I never make anyone go home. I figure if they're scheduled to be here, they can be here. I can find things for them to do -- there's always something to clean, or a sidewalk to be swept, a storage room to straighten up, etc.

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Matt Fields
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 540
From: Jackson, Ohio, United States
Registered: Jun 2005

 - posted 08-02-2005 04:36 PM      Profile for Matt Fields   Email Matt Fields   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I usually don't send people home, but on the rare occasions I do, I always ask for volunteers. If no one does, the person who got there first usually goes home.

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Bruce Hansen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 847
From: Stone Mountain, GA, USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 08-02-2005 05:09 PM      Profile for Bruce Hansen   Email Bruce Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How do you expect your employees to care about the company, if the company doesn't care about them. When you need them, they may just decide that it isn't important to show up. What goes around, comes around. If the manager isn't very good at scheduling, then maybe HE (or she) should go home without pay.

When someone books me, and then tells me they don't need me, at the last minute, I still bill for the day. It is not my fault that someone cannot schedule, and I will not pay for someone elses screw-up.

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Brad Allen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 688
From: Evansville, IN, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 08-02-2005 05:56 PM      Profile for Brad Allen   Email Brad Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've always asked for volunteers to go home, and never had a problem getting them.

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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 08-02-2005 06:06 PM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our situation is pretty much the same as Brad's, there is always somebody who would like the evening off.

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Tracy Bellar
Film Handler

Posts: 72
From: Sciotoville, Oh.
Registered: Mar 2005

 - posted 08-02-2005 06:17 PM      Profile for Tracy Bellar   Author's Homepage   Email Tracy Bellar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I heard two guys talking once. One guy said, "why do you only work four days a week?" The other guy said, "because I can't make it on three."

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Dan Bouvier
Film Handler

Posts: 70
From: Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Aug 2004

 - posted 08-02-2005 07:13 PM      Profile for Dan Bouvier   Email Dan Bouvier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here in Alberta, as far as I understand, you can send someone home whenever but you have to pay them for at least three hours at minimun wage, per shift. If the person normally makes $18 an hour (obviously not at a theatre), and they only work an hour, no big deal. But if they're making minimum wage and you want to send them home after an hour, you legally have to pay them for three hours, so you might as well keep them around for a while.

However, if it's slow and you need to send people home, and you ask "Who wants to go home?" and some kid volunteers, I guess you could say that it was his choice and then ignore the three hour rule, but I'm not sure how legal that is.

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Carey Barber
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 143
From: Newport News, VA, USA
Registered: Jan 2003

 - posted 08-02-2005 07:50 PM      Profile for Carey Barber   Email Carey Barber   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Its a very common practice at our theater also - And has been for quite some time.

With most of our staff being in the 16-17 year old range, they are not usually concerned with paying bills so they don't mind having the day off. In fact, most of the time they are happy [thumbsup]

Edit - I am not saying I support the practice... I am not saying that it isn't unethical - Just that it exists and does not cause many problems.

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Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-02-2005 09:06 PM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I worked the floor and it was slow, I lived by the old phrase "out of sight, out of mind". I hardly ever got sent home. Later, I would find some stupid task to do and that often kept me around too. Some workers just hover around the box or concession stand and get picked off everyday by management. Then on pay day they'd bitch about money . . . or the lack thereof.

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Dave Williams
Wet nipple scene

Posts: 1836
From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 08-03-2005 12:01 AM      Profile for Dave Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My owner was always calling me telling me to send people home, you know, after a slow five o clock set, so that way we could have NO ONE for the seven.

My philosophy is simple. You schedule to the best of your ability, and make sure your employees are taken care of. If you don't take care of them, they will not take care of your customers.


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