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Final Warning for "Working Off The Clock"

Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
13
Today I was issued a final warning for "working off the clock." I'm a GSA, and I arrived at the store about 20 minutes early just to get a head start on things. Well, my ETL-HR (while giving me my GSTL keys) says, "You better not do any work before you clock in. You're not going to are you?" I wasn't really sure if she was serious as the culture in our store is laughable on this issue. You could catch at least 5 TM a day "working off the clock" if you wanted to. So my response was a sarcastic: "yeah, I'm definitely not gonna do that. Who would ever do that?"

Trying to make a long story short, I did about 7 minutes worth of work before clocking in. My ETL-HR then confronted me b/c I obviously had printed some papers. I knew she was mad, but I just protested that everybody does it. So, end of the day comes, and I am delivered a final warning by my GSTL. I did not even know that "working off the clock" went immediately to FW, but apparently my ignorance doesn't matter. I wish she would have shared that with me along with her directive to not do any work.

I realize I don't have much of a leg to stand on, but I do have questions about a couple of things. First, she did give me GSTL keys right when I walked in the door, which should also be a violation of this same policy. If she's giving me equipment, then am I not "working?" Secondly, since it's the ETL-HR who issued the FW, who can I talk to about it if I am unhappy with it? I don't think she'll be able to be unbiased. I already talked to my STL once, but I did not remember the detail of the GSTL keys until after we finished talking.

So I'm scheduled to talk to my ETL-HR in the morning, and I have no idea what to really say or if I should even talk to her. Can corrective action ever be rescinded or appealed? Any info or advice anybody has would be helpful to me.

and yeah -- TL;DR -- I'm aware...

Thanks
 
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commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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17,719
Don't worry, we read stuff here.

Sounds like they were getting drek about allowing a culture of working off the clock and you got in the changing of that culture.
The defense of 'everybody else else is doing it' is exactly the thing they don't want to hear.
At this point they are cleaning house as fast as they can.
The best thing you can do is hint that you were caught up in that culture and promise to never do it again.
Then never do it again.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
Your ETL-HR technically should be written up herself. She handed you keys, and yes, getting equipment/keys is working off the clock. Basically an exec knowingly caused a TM to work off the clock, which is a final warning/termable offense on her part.

You also were at fault for printing things.... so really you both should be written up.

IMO, though, this was a setup. Your ETL-HR intentionally gave you keys knowing that it would probably entice you to work. The fact that when she gave you keys she brought up working off the clock means she was fully aware that her action would cause you to work off the clock.

I suspect that even if you hadn't printed anything, they would have written you up anyway. Either for something else, or working off the clock days, weeks, or months prior. The fact she mentioned working off the clock the moment you came in the door is a huge red flag that they were already planning to write you up before you even did anything that day.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
1,003
Most stores treat this with a wink. How many people have the team stay after the store closes to stay and they actually earn a second break but it is not offered? I would be willing to bet that if you did a survey of how many TLs actually take a second break you would have less than 50% that do. Team members who are "trapped" in an area such as food cafe, GSTL, deli, bakery electronics etc, just quit begging for someone to give them their breaks. In many stores they truly have to beg.Then there are the calls when you are on lunch. These are the questions that start out "I know your on lunch, but..."Of course if they need to or want to they can write you up for working off the clock. The biggest issue is that it is not applied evenly throughout the store, district or company. In your case someone probably mentioned that they think you were working off the clock. Then they set you up to see if you did.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
48
Just to chime in on the leadership side, If I was to catch a team member working off the clock and I did nothing (condoning the behavior), as a team leader I could be terminated. Target is really serious about this kind of stuff.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
825
Just to chime in on the leadership side, If I was to catch a team member working off the clock and I did nothing (condoning the behavior), as a team leader I could be terminated. Target is really serious about this kind of stuff.
LOL. I was a TL for years. That is complete garbage. I turned a blind eye all the time when it was right to do so. I never risked my job because no ETL knew what I saw unless I chose to tell them. Yea, I suppose if I sat around and told an ETL "Hey, I just wanted you to know I see all kinds of things and never let you know" it might have been a problem.

Furthermore, we never even had the authority to do anything more than a coaching. Everything else had to be done through an ETL. So yes, you could go and tattle to the ETLs to get them to setup a counseling. Me? I never did my team that way. I had much more in common with them than I did any ETL. If I did have a problem with a TM, 99% of the time I resolved it by talking to them on the side. I never sat around and played that coaching BS. I also never tattled to an ETL unless it was something extreme - theft, violence, etc. But then again, I never had anything to prove and had the respect of my team.
 
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Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
698
Have to say that it is one of the things that they are super strict about in our store,probably because of so many new etls over the years trying to be perfect in every way,in this case a good thing.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
672
Just to chime in on the leadership side, If I was to catch a team member working off the clock and I did nothing (condoning the behavior), as a team leader I could be terminated. Target is really serious about this kind of stuff.
We just put a TL on Final for this exact reason. Working off the clock is a Termination offense. You should feel lucky you got a Final. As far as the key issue I do believe that your in the right, however you should have stated you weren't on the clock yet. I don't know..... Lots of Gray area....
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Thank you for everyone's responses; very interesting points of view. If I'm feeling cynical, part of me thinks it could have been a set up as well, but I really have no way of knowing. I know that she was under no obligation to tell me that "unauthorized work" was an automatic FW, but that doesn't mean she couldn't have told me. If she thought I wasn't taking her seriously, she could have said, "No really -- you'll go on immediate final warning if you read your email before you clock in." If it had been put to me in that way, I wouldn't have done it. But whatever.

I talked to her today in as calm and non-aggressive manner as possible, knowing full well that nothing I could say was going to change a damn thing. I mentioned the thing about the keys and she agreed that she should not have done it. However, predictably, she didn't really see it as enticing me to work either. So even if she should be written up too, it's not really my place to suggest that. I feel like trying to protest anymore or do anything else is just going to create more trouble for me than having to live with 12 months of FW.

It sucks, though. In a way I do feel like I'm being set up, made an example of, and for what? I have done nothing but give my heart and soul to this company for the past 6 years, and they truly have not even a shred of appreciation for that fact. Not that I am surprised. I'm not. I understand how the game works. But it's still just ****ty.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Messages
710
i used to think about working off the clock a lot. preties during lunch breaks, etls hitting me up during my lunch/break on tasks to do, stl catching me after i clocked out, no breaks, especially on the weekends.
then one day an etl asked if i was working off the clock. i said no, sarcastically. he warned me that it was terminable offense. turns out, they were headhunting. i never thought about working off the clock again. i refuse to talk to the etls/tm about anything work related, get keys, breakdowns, etc. until i am clocked in. my tm get all their breaks. and if im closing and doing the ad take down, they still get them, on time. if we stay late and get another break, they take it. i've made several etls mad because i sent the team to break with the store closed. but if we come in at 2 on sundays and you keep us until the wee dawn hours, then we deserve another break. times are tough. don't give them an excuse.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
177
Kinda sucks... I mean, I understand your point of view. I'm a GSA as well and well, I wish they gave GSTL/GSAs time to do stuff like e-mails and whatnot cause really we can't leave the front too often...
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
13
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Do a punch correction for the time the ETL-HR handed you the keys.
notsureifserious.jpg

Even though it's been a couple of days, I still get really angry about all of this. Could I legitimately argue that a punch correction is warranted since I was given keys? Again, I don't really know how to protest a situation when HR is involved in the situation you'd like to protest. Is there any recourse for appealing an FW?

If possible, please PM if you'd be kind enough to respond to me. Just feeling really paranoid right now, and I don't know if any leadership in our store checks this site. It's possible, isn't it? And, unfortunately, the way I described the incident above would be very obvious.
 

StaticSun

Former Front-End Guru
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Jun 12, 2011
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What if one of us, who decides to PM you, is from your store?

Dun dun dunnnnnn!

Anyways, ask tell your HR you need to fill out a punch correction because they gave you keys. If they don't want to let you do that, talk to your STL. Target is strict in that ANY TIME WORKED must be paid. If you worked off the clock, you need to fill out a punch correction and get paid for that time. If they refuse to do so, call the hotline!
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
3,408
I had an ETL jump on me because I came in on my off day to save a copy of a development plan onto a flash drive so I could work on it at home. I asked the ETL, "if I am always working the front or salesfloor how do I ever get to work on my development plan"....He just gave me a blank look and walked off. Damn if you do...damn if you don't type situation.

I asked my ETL-GE about it, and he said I was in the right. And said go ahead and do a punch correction for 15 minutes.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
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notsureifserious.jpg

Even though it's been a couple of days, I still get really angry about all of this. Could I legitimately argue that a punch correction is warranted since I was given keys? Again, I don't really know how to protest a situation when HR is involved in the situation you'd like to protest. Is there any recourse for appealing an FW?

If possible, please PM if you'd be kind enough to respond to me. Just feeling really paranoid right now, and I don't know if any leadership in our store checks this site. It's possible, isn't it? And, unfortunately, the way I described the incident above would be very obvious.
If target had a union you could file a grievance.... really you can't do anything.

Honestly, I would show them what I thought by walking out the door and not coming back if I were you. It was clearly a setup.
 
B

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Knowingly working off the clock is bad, and should be avoided at all costs. If she told you not to do work off the clock and you did anyways, you kind of screwed yourself there....
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
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Sometimes if you need to do some extra paper work, just go ahead and clock in.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
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710
and you need to go ahead and fill out a punch correction like others suggested. may as well get paid since you've already taken the bullet. be sure to list the reason. if they're that strict, then your etl knew better than to give you keys.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #24
and you need to go ahead and fill out a punch correction like others suggested. may as well get paid since you've already taken the bullet. be sure to list the reason. if they're that strict, then your etl knew better than to give you keys.
Eh, my only real interest in the punch correction was if the point about the keys would make them reconsider the FW. I don't think they're going to do that, so won't filling out a punch correction just piss them off? I also assume there is no process for appealing an FW other than talking to your HR/STL or calling the Hotline. Not going to do the latter and my HR was the one who issued the FW. I already spoke with my STL the day it happened but it was before I remembered that I had been given GSTL keys the second I walked in the door. I guess I could talk to him again, but aren't these things finalized almost instantaneously? Don't know if he could change anything even if he agreed with me, even though I'm sure he wouldn't anyway. Also, lastly, does it matter whether or not you sign the form? I didn't sign mine, but I don't know if that qualifies me as "uncooperative" or something in some file somewhere.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Messages
710
doesnt matter if you sign. it stands as long as the preparer/reviewer sign it. it doesn't go in a special uncooperative file.

my point was, you worked, get paid for it. doesn't matter if it pisses them off. they OWE YOU that $$$. your hr should have forced you to do a punch. otherwise, they are breaking labor laws. and you wouldn't want them to get into trouble for that.
 
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