How to deal with a boss who wants you to work overtime for free?

Me rightnow: Working overtime for free on a sunday morning 😂

  • 27
    You don't.
  • 23
    You say "no". Since you have already missed that opportunity, it will be harder for you to get that into his head.
  • 24
    Depending on where you live, his request is illegal.
  • 14
    You say no.
    You get paid for it or you don't do it.

    I don't get overtime, (salaries and all 🤷‍♂️) but I do get time In lieu if I do work any overtime so I'm still getting something out of it.
  • 20
    With a resignation letter.
  • 6
    You're from the Philippines, right? Report his ass to DOLE and take all his money.
  • 7
    @Kimmax well what can we do? We are just high paid slaves and can be replaced easily if we say no right?

    So employees usually are abused indirectly with no overtime pay or no offset. Also very fast task deadlines with no proper sprint planning.

    @rutee07 yes I'm in the PH. I am representing all Pinoy employees that are abused like this. Reporting to DOLE is hard because companies have monies and they just bribe DOLE so the case will be closed. Oh well
  • 4
    @Root sometimes employees/developers can't resign due to obligations/bills to pay and finding another work is hard so they have no choice but to be slaves who render free overtime.

    @rEaL-jAsE Laws here in the PH is not that strict so some employers abuse free overtime OR no offset
  • 3
    @C0D4 high chance to be replaced if we say no. Sad reality.
  • 10
    Either you terminate the contract or you terminate the boss.
  • 6
    @Devnergy i don't know the laws where you are, but here thats something that gets business fined largely and employees paid when actioned.

    For example:
  • 8
    The law is a powerful thing if enforced

    I'd start trying to slap your employer with article 83 😉


    That extra 30% sounds like overtime pay to me.
  • 4
    @C0D4 most companies here in the PH have a salary bracket range that only pays OT.

    Example: up to 40k pesos monthly then you are entitled to OT pay.
    41k and above = you are not entitled anymore to OT pay.
  • 5
    @Devnergy is that a company thing or a legal thing though?

    I didn't read that (although I looked briefly) in those handful of articles.
  • 5
    @Devnergy I've been working in the Philippines for 6 years. All my employers pay overtime and additional salary if I work on weekends or holidays. My salary is more than double the bracket you mentioned.

    I think you should find a different employer. What is your position, exactly? What capability? If you're a Java developer, I can refer you to my current company.
  • 3
    @rutee07 I'm a PHP dev working for 13 years already. Well some startups will give you a task with a very fast deadline (example deadline tomorrow) without properly discussing the details (no process)

    Also stated in my contract no OT pay since above salary bracket. And no offset. Good thing my next work will be in a big company.

    While working I will create my own business - be independent by hook or by crook. High paid slaves are usually treated bad by some companies.
  • 3
    @C0D4 not sure right now as I'm lazy studying PH Labor laws but now I will.

    It seems it is a company thing.

    Example: They will give you a very fast deadline (example deadline tomorrow) but you are not required to do OT work. Then tomorrow they will find the result LOL such a trap
  • 4
    @Devnergy It's good to know that you're moving on to a new job. I only worked in big multinational companies in Manila so I'm not familiar with such abuse.

    If DOLE itself couldn't help, there are shows like Tulfo and Mike Enriquez. They don't seem to discriminate. If it's in contract then it's even better. You have documented proof that they are doing this but I wouldn't hassle myself unless I want to be a hero.

    Move on the next company. I hope your life gets better soon. And the next time someone doesn't pay you, eat their first born. Good luck, man.
  • 4
    @rutee07 example story:

    boss: do this big task. How long do you think this will take.

    rutee: (as honest and as fast as you could with some buffer) ok boss I have reviewed it and this is the work breakdown structure. This will take 20 hours (2.5 days)

    boss: woah hold on. That is long. Can you do it 1 day?

    - if you say 2-3 days or 5 days = you are inefficient automatically lol wtf
    - if you say 1 day then boss will be happy but good luck to you (suicidal)
  • 6
    @Devnergy I think it's typical for managers to do this especially if they are non-technical. You can't complete the impossible just because they want to. Which city is this? I doubt your boss can find someone "efficient" in his dictionary.
  • 5
    @Devnergy you are the techie. Your mgmt is not.
    You know how long things take to implement. Your mgmt has no clue.
    You are an honest and humble employee. Your mgmt exploits your personal qualities to ashame you with your [reasonable] estimates and manipulate you into lowering them to make them happy [and get fat bonusses for quick delivery; you get nothing from that pie]

    how it should be:
    m: how long will it take?
    D: 20hrs
    m: that long?? For such a simple change?
    D: yes, that long and the change is not THAT simple to implement, esp. considering our codebase and infra nouances
    m: will you do this in 1 day?
    D: it is not possible, unless I get 2 months to pivot our app's code to make it easier to implement changes like you are asking now. Do you want a finer-grained estimates for all the subtasks? I'll get it for you in another our [i.E. One more hour wasted]. And once I do that and get into deeper analysis the preliminary estimate [20hrs] is very likely to grow.

    That way your mgmt has nowhere left to go and is proven your current estimate is the most profitable.

    Grow a pair of balls and stand your ground ffs!
  • 6
    @Devnergy that doesn't work on me.
    If I get an estimate, it's purely that.

    I will happily over estimate if I know the change will likely affect another part of a code base or an integration and deliver early if possible.

    Giving in to that 1 day for a 2-3 day change is where you went wrong, but I use to do this as Well and ended up working 12+ hours a day for a while in my past jobs, it broke me. So I resorted to quitting and finding a strictly 9-5 job. This way when overtime is required it's completely at my freedom to give it.

    Overtime is a luxury for the employer, you should withhold unless you deem the overtime worthy.

    You say 13 years of dev, but you are being treated and exploited as a junior by the sounds of this.
  • 4
    How critical is it to the business staying alive that you work extra hours for free ?

    If you know the business well enough, and its vital, then work for free to keep your job..

    Meanwhile, look for a better job elsewhere.

    (Though it may be hard to find somewhere honest enough to say, 'we want you to work for free', so you will probably have to chat to folk who already work there to find out if the same culture exists.)

    If not vital, then look for another better job !

    If you complain to your manager/etc. a few things will happen:

    You will be fired, and have no job..

    You will stop working for free, but they will give you an awful review for your next employer.

    And mark you down as a troublemaker.
  • 6
    > We (...) can be replaced easily (...) right?
    Replacing devs is expensive: A dev familiar with the domain needs at least six months to become productive. In more specialized fields it's up to two years (Source: Peopleware, a book by managers for managers but imho everyone should read it). That is after the search is over. And in the current economy, a company can consider itself very lucky for every single developer it could attract.
    Devs aren't as easily replaceable as management likes you to think.

    > well what can we do?
    We approach it from a different mindset. The manager is an adult, I'm an adult. He's the expert for management things, I'm the expert for technical things. We talk and come to an agreement. He wants it done faster? I need him to reduce the scope.
    So what if he tries do dictate both time and scope? Cover your ass in writing, give 100% (not more!), when things crash _don't take the blame for his mismanagement_. This happens again? Escalate and/or new job.
  • 3
    @Nanos if it's important for the company to have this or that particular employee do overtime in order to stay afloat, it should be paid accordingly. If the employee is valuable to the company, the company should treat them as such.

    If it's vital to the employee.. well sure, but I'd definitely focus primarily on finding a new job ASAP. And use the welfare system in the meantime, in Belgium at least it's sufficient to stay afloat while unemployed.
  • 2
    @netikras thanks but tried that already - did not work. Good thing I will be in a new big company next week.
  • 4
    @Devnergy if your mentality is that we are expendable and easily replaceable then you might be so. One of the most interesting and cunning challenges of a dev is to become indispensable by taking advantage of a skill that only he/she has. Be unique and you'll be very hard to replace.
  • 1
    @C0D4 well that's how it is here in PH. It is very rare to find a good company with a good process where it structured + treats employees good. You should try to work here and see for yourself 🙂
  • 2
    @Nanos I like your reply mate. Honest, happens in reality, straight to the point and no sugar coating 😎

    Bad employers be like:
    if you complain or don't like to work overtime for free then there are other slaves out there who are willing to do the grunt work. I will either make this hard for you until you quit, write you a bad review or fire you. You are simply replaceable.
  • 2
    @VaderNT I understand your poind and mindset but even if how correct you justify it all - most of the time it will be not in your favor.

    Usually they all like the 3 points in the management triangle
  • 3
    @Devnergy We work in the same country but it's like we're from different worlds. 😁
  • 2
    @rutee07 you should try working in a smaller or startup company hehe
  • 0
    @Devnergy yes, and the triangle is the excuse managers use to squeeze whatever they want out of you. It's a flawed model, Wikipedia explains it better than I can: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    So, what's your plan after this task?
  • 0

    This book ?



    Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams Paperback – by Tom DeMarco (Author), Timothy Lister (Author)

  • 2
    Tell them you do freelance work and that they'll have to out price the quote you gave the freelance client for you to work for them instead.
  • 1
    @Nanos yes, that's the one.
  • 1
    @Devnergy yeah I understand that not everyone is un-fireable, this is what you want to achieve tho, this might mean that you'll have to bite the apple here or there, but it shouldn't be the norm by any means. Depending on where you are, that even might be illegal. If the company doesn't want to understand that, you probably should start looking for another gig and get out as soon as you can start at the new pace. Don't bother informing them about anything except what you signed in the contract. If its 4 weeks, hand in your papers 4 weeks before leaving. They either come up with a good offer, or you walk out. You are in power in that case. Staying with them probably won't get you anywhere under that circumstances, or at least how I imagine they are..
    I know this is easier said than done, but think about it and ask yourself if what you are doing for them is worth it and if you can realistically grow from there. You don't want to be stuck with the same shit forever
  • 2
    Above advice also applies to relationships..
  • 1
    @Kimmax @rutee07 https://youtu.be/sBNHvx8Vc6M
    How I wish this will work in the situation I experienced lol 😂
  • 1
    @Nanos look for a new so throw away the old one after that? 😂
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