IF YOU WERE IN HIS SHOES…
You are an experienced technical consultant in an IT Outsourcing Firm. In the beginning of your work, your partner resigned. Since you are in a new project and your team and your company needs to impress the client, you were made to cover the work left by your colleague. Unknown to the client, your company has decided not to tell the client timely about the departure of the consultant you are to be working with. Thus, your company has been billing you to the client for 2 heads as you work on the double. You worked 16 to 24 hours a day and covered all the shifts inclusive of weekends and holidays without complaints.
Along with this, your company came to a point where it needed a director to manage the Center of Excellence or what is termed as COE. Because of the high cost of getting one, they have decided to just leave all the tasks to be done by you without having to promote or escalate your status. Since you were new to the company, you took the responsibilities on the premise that in due time, you will be rewarded what is due. This decision took almost your 24 hours and has deprived you your time to relax and spend time at home with your family. You were a robot in an instant.
You worked so hard for 17 months. You did more than what you are supposed to do because your work required you to do more. You trained people since the company never gave trainings and you accomplished what is expected to your team by the client through your own initiative. Doing so, you accumulated almost 6000 to 8000 overtime hours that your company bills to the client though your manager kept rejecting your timesheets and appeal for compensation.
Soon, a complaint to the labor department was raised. An onsite inspection was done and issues were seen. The company was asked to pay in full or enter into an amicable settlement. The company in return created offer sheets where claims were reduced from 100% down to 25% and employees were asked to sign memos and quitclaims to clear themselves from the draft order through an “amicable settlement”. Majority signed because they had no choice at all. The offer was actually a “take it or leave it” package.
If you sign, you get paid and you are appreciated by the management because of your support and loyalty. If you reject and prefer not to sign, you are discriminated and tagged as a troublemaker. In the end, you will be kicked out as soon as they get to see a hole in your work. The company needs to have everyone agree on an amicable settlement so they get to be saved for possible labor violation. The issue is that the settlement comes in its onerous form where it favors only the company and not you. You have rendered work 100% and you get to have your compensation only for 25%?
More so, you have been deprived of a 15-day pay almost 10 months ago. You have joined the clamor for the release of the payment but the company has issued a memo out of the pressure from the labor department for payouts in 2 monthly installments. Even if you have decided not to agree and sign, you were forced nonetheless because the company badly needed the clearance that they have indeed settled things with their employees. Here comes another memo pushing you and your colleague to waive your rights and settle for a maximum of 25% of your total claims.
Here goes the scenario. Supposed that you are rated 20 dollars per hour, If you were to be compensated based on the actual overtime hours you are claiming for compensation, you are to expect an amount close to $156,000 to $208,000 gross excusive of tax due (If formula: OT hours x Rate x 1.3 is to be used). With a huge amount, your company is pushing you to agree on signing a settlement along with a quitclaim that you will forever free them from charges and claims in return for a settlement fee of only $3,000 and a 30% salary increase to be applied on the following month which is not retroactive.
All in all, you get $3,000 instead of almost $208,000 plus the fear of losing your job the next day since the company can get back at you anytime after they get to have you sign the quitclaim that frees them from any liabilities thereafter. You do not have enough resources to push for the case where you get to have the chance to be compensated in full though you have all the evidences and documented proof of your claim. You fear as well of losing your job being a family man in times of crisis like this because you have not even tried revising your resume or applying yet.
You do not want to Burn Bridge and go with a fight amidst the intimidation of your company that they will be fine with pursuing a case since they are confident that they will win given the resources and connection. You do not want all the noise and issue but you wanted equity and justice for your claims plus the fact that you also need money for your family and for your own welfare. Now the question is… WILL YOU GO FOR THE SETTLEMENT TO AVOID FURTHER NOISE OR WILL YOU PUSH WITH THE CASE FOR FULL PAYMENT OF WHATEVER IS DUE?