General Question

chelle21689's avatar

How to get my boss to stop texting me after work hours?

Asked by chelle21689 (7770points) July 8th, 2020 from iPhone

It will be like 7:00pm while I’m preparing dinner and he will text me to update some stupid spreadsheet a monkey can do. I don’t want to take out my laptop, wait for it to load, go through spreadsheets, and update something that he can do and can wait!! It stresses me out because I hate working there, he’s been making it a habit!

I’ve been answering the few times he texted me but a couple days ago he asked another task but I was not home. He texts me again today and I haven’t answered. I’m ignoring it but I feel so guilty. I was planning answering at 10pm saying ‘Sorry, I just saw this! Will get to it tomorrow.’ Is that wrong? I’m hourly by the way.

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32 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Does he pay you overtime for the tasks he sends you ? ?

chelle21689's avatar

No. I am hourly but I’m also salary non-exempt. The point is, it really stresses me out that he makes a habit out of this over things that is simple or things that can wait tomorrow.

Jeruba's avatar

Remembering what you said about your boss and hating your job (here), I’m wondering if he’s just savvy enough to set you up for failure. I once had a boss who did this—sent emails at night expecting something on his desk by 9:00 a.m. It was part of a passive-aggressive pattern of getting rid of people he didn’t want to fire outright.

The thing is, your attitude probably shows, no matter how hard you may try to keep it to yourself. He may sense something even if he’s not clever enough to define the problem and find a solution. In some way he may feel threatened by you.

If I were you, I’d be getting that resume out there.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Stop answering his text messages.
In fact hit decline, too busy etc
If you have to say I am off work.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I think it is time to call the State Labor Board; hope you kept the texts. Hourly vs Salary !

chyna's avatar

“Ask me tomorrow during working hours. I’m off the clock now.”
After replying with that message 2 or 3 times, he will quit.

chelle21689's avatar

I am very tempted to help him because I feel bad when I know I shouldn’t. I will text him at like 10 and say sorry I just got to my phone!! And tell him I’m getting ready for sleep and will do it tomorrow.

chelle21689's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I am hourly but salaried non-exempt. Still, I feel like he oversteps the boundaries.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You cannot be SALARIED NON-EXEMPT not get paid IT SAYS YOU GET PAID FOR HOURS WORKED !!!! Including him texting you !
He owes “for overtime pay in addition to the salary for work weeks in which his or her time worked exceeds 40 hours”

He has broken the law if you don’t get paid. Walmart has had to pay back wages doing the same thing. Making people work before or after the clocked in.

chelle21689's avatar

@Tropical_Willie All the more reason for me not to respond right? I will text in the morning and just say sorry my phone was dead I just saw this. You would think the HR Director would know better, that’s his title.

chelle21689's avatar

I see emails on my phone pop up and it’s from him and everyone is responding this late. It seems because everyone does, then he expects me to.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Get to the Labor Board ! ! !

He is breaking the law !

Don’t want to hear in month he is still doing the same thing !


Did Donald Trump Train him ? ?

Jeruba's avatar

Don’t lie and make up stupid excuses. That gains you nothing. You need a broader solution than a case-by-case copout.

Your boss is the HR director? Oh, boy. What’s your recourse, according to the org chart and/or the employee handbook, if you have a dispute with him?

It might also be appropriate to refer to your job description, or to ask for one if you don’t have it, so you can see where it says that you are on call after hours and obligated to respond. Oh, it doesn’t say that? Well, then.

Smashley's avatar

I think there’s an easy argument that if your total workload is over 40 hours a week, you require overtime compensation. If you work less than the hours you are paid for, it might be within an employers right to demand that work you owe on a fluctuating schedule. Some state governments have tried to end these practices, and protect salaried non exempt workers from abuse, but, as always, results vary state to state.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Ignore him. Delete the text and claim you never got it.

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KNOWITALL's avatar

Do you clock in and out every time? If possible, for anything after hours, do that and start charging them for your time. Dont let him use the excuse ‘she didnt clock in’, make them pay you. I’d also start documenting a call log and saving texts with time stamp.
Like @Tropical said, it sounds highly illegal and bordering on harassment of an employee after work hours. No way I’d put up with not getting paid.

chelle21689's avatar

Lol I just texted him late at 10 and said I just got to my phone and will do it tomorrow. He’s so dumb. He said the spreadsheet needed wasn’t updated but it is…

Jeruba's avatar

There’s no point in “clocking in” for five minutes here and five minutes there. It’ll amount to nothing in pay for you, and for him it would appear to make the intrusion okay.

The point is that if you’re on call during those evening hours, you’re at his disposal and your time is not really your own. Unless you have agreed to that sort of arrangement, with appropriate compensation, it’s out of bounds.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jeruba Legally, here, even if you work for five minutes, you have to be ‘on the clock’ or the employer is legally liable. So I’ve heard time and time again.

Jeruba's avatar

Sure, @KNOWITALL. But my point is, what’s the use of getting paid for five minutes’ work here and there? If you’re earning $30/hour, that’s $2.50. Practically nothing. But meanwhile it’s not really downtime if that request can come at any old time during your supposedly off hours and you’re obliged to respond.

Accepting that arrangement gives him license to do it. She wants to stop him, not get paid enough for half a cup of coffee while having her chill time hijacked.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It maybe more that five minutes @Jeruba and it is still illegal. It is also an intrusion on her home/house !

Walmart paid fines and back pay (time and a half) ! They habitually had people clock out and then count inventory or clean floors.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m saying that she should get paid for the whole time she is on call and not just five minutes of active service. He shouldn’t call on her at all outside of work hours (unless there’s some actual emergency).

Redefining those evening hours as work hours because he feels free to intrude upon them ought to give him pause.

Again, she says she wants him to stop, not make it okay for him to keep it up.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

If she goes through the Labor Board it will send a bolt of lightning to has bottom line. Fines and back pay!

KNOWITALL's avatar

My friend was told to clock an hour for even answering a work text after bus hours. Just saying payroll may notice and inquire about OT or evening work, especially during Covid when saving is a priority.
Like @Tropical said, if its more than just her and they all show the mgmts inappropriate unpaid work requests, maybe it will throw a red flag.

Its crazy to me an HR manager would risk such an obvious exploitation of personal time. Wow.

Jeruba's avatar

I wonder what would happen if she just said, “Please don’t send me work requests after hours. I’m off duty now and will attend to them the next time I clock in.”

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Send him the “Bill” @Jeruba then discuss being off duty.

Poseidon's avatar

Whatever you do DON’T apologise. If any apologies are due it is your boss who should be doing it.

You are employed to work for certain hours and when those hour have been worked the boss has NO right to harass you after you have got home.

Added to this if he/she is not paying you overtime then you should supply your boss with an invoice requesting the overtime payment for the after hours work you have already done.

If he/she has a boss you should also tell him/her that you are not employed to be at their beck and call at anytime day or night and it must stop. Tell him if not you will reluctantly have no option but to complain to his/her boss.

Also tell your boss that what they are doing is tantamount to harassment and it MUST stop.

All this should be done as diplomatically as possible

jca2's avatar

I would just ignore it and let him bring it up to you at work. Then you can say you don’t look at your phone when you’re at home, and this can start a conversation about it.

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