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Employee's quick-thinking makes company pay $500k compensation for mandatory 'annual retreat'

He identified policy loopholes to secure compensation from the company for the mandatory trip they imposed on all their employees.

Employee's quick-thinking makes company pay $500k compensation for mandatory 'annual retreat'
Representative Cover Image Source: (L) Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio; (R) Reddit | u/mikemojc

Policies that put employees in unwanted positions can be challenging to handle. In this capitalistic world, it seems like all the rules and regulations are formulated in the favor of owners, leaving the employees vulnerable and at risk. Reddit user u/mikemojc was tired of this unfair power dynamic and found a loophole to teach their employers a lesson for making them follow a rule they did not consent to in the first place.

Representative Image Source: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

The employee shared how their past company had a mandatory retreat that all employees, whether salaried or hourly, had to participate in. He was not interested and instead wanted to have the time to themself. However, he was informed his presence was necessary. Feeling as if his hands were tied, the employee sent a list of questions to HR. The questions were, "Was going a condition of employment?" "Could I take my own transportation?" and "Could I visit local sites during downtime?" The answers made it clear that the whole experience would be tiresome for the employees. The free time workers could have used their own leisure was to be invested in something that is just a promotional tool to make the company look better.

The employee was uncomfortable and he decided to use the questions they sent for their benefit. After returning from the trip, he entered all the hours of the trip on his time card. The supervisor was shocked and yelled at him for pulling such a stunt. The supervisor expected it to be known that the trip would not be compensated. Thankfully, the employee knew his rights and did the research, therefore, he demanded to talk to HR.

A few hours later, they called the employee into a meeting with HR, the supervisor and the director. They reasoned that since he did not work in those hours, he could not demand compensation. The employee expected this and brought out the emails. In this, HR answered the question, "Was going a condition of employment?" with a yes. He further showed how the HR had clearly stated that there was to be no downtime. Since the employee's job was dependent on their presence and the whole trip demanded their engagement, with no "me time," they were working according to the desires of the company. Hence, he deserved to be compensated.

Representative Image Source: Pexels/RDNE Stock project
Representative Image Source: Pexels/RDNE Stock project

The director was not pleased with the response and stated, "Not going to happen, I'll fire you first." The employee was not afraid, as he knew that he could sue the company for not giving him the rightful dues, with the proof in hand. Therefore, he politely asked the director to discuss their decision with HR. He stepped out and the HR later came back with a proposal. HR proposed that the employee be paid for the hours on the condition that he keep this whole situation under wraps. They also produced an agreement. The employee denied it, as he had already discussed taking this step with 5-6 coworkers.

Other employees followed and the company had to pay $500k more than they had decided for the "trip." Ultimately, the CLWDA got involved and the company decided to introduce new policies, which the employee had no idea about, as they left the establishment before their next "Annual Retreat."

Image Source: Reddit/u/Popular-Ad8662
Image Source: Reddit | u/Popular-Ad8662

 

Image Source: Reddit/u/stobors
Image Source: Reddit | u/stobors

The comment section cheered for the Reddit user. u/kiwimuz loved how he got back at the company, "You owned them - drop the mic moment." u/LAKnightYEAH2023 appreciated how the employee refused to be exploited, "Awesome job standing up for yourself. You can only be exploited if you allow it."

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