Worker Praised for 'Beautiful' Response to Manager's 'No Overtime' Policy

Online commenters applauded an employee who said he once clocked out of work in the middle of a task because his company had just instated a "no overtime" policy.

Posting in Reddit's "Malicious Compliance" forum under the username u/scifielder, the worker wrote: "Sorry, my shift is over." The post has garnered over 18,000 upvotes and hundreds of comments from furious Redditors who said eliminating overtime is "never" a good idea. You can read the full post here.

'I'm Setting an Example'

In his post, u/scifielder said the incident occurred "many years ago" when he worked for a "cafeteria/catering company."

"Between mealtimes, we would work on catering projects. This would often run us past the end of our shift, resulting in overtime," he said.

Businessman leaving work
Online commenters applauded an employee who said he once clocked out of work in the middle of a project because his company had just instated a "no overtime" policy. The Reddit poster said he was told to "set an example." GeorgeRudy/istock

At one point, however, a manager decided to "eliminate overtime," so he called a meeting and told workers they were expected to "clock out at shift's end, no exceptions."

After announcing the policy, the manager pulled aside u/scifielder, who was a supervisor at the time, and told him to "set an example."

"A couple [of] days later, I was working on a cheese display. When my shift's end came around, I put everything down, walked to the clock and swiped my card," u/scifielder said.

When his manager pointed out that his display wasn't finished, u/scifielder replied: "No, but my shift is. I'm setting an example."

Unsatisfied with this response, u/scifielder's manager told him to stay behind and finish the display, but he refused.

"The next day it was announced that all projects underway at the time would be allowed to be finished regardless of time, as long as it wasn't abused," he concluded. "Turns out all the hourly employees also left, and [the manager] had to finish several projects by himself. Since he was on salary, there was no overtime for him."

Providing Overtime Pay

According to Nolo, an online legal encyclopedia, most employers are required to provide overtime pay to "at least some of their employees."

"To figure out whether your employer has to pay overtime, first determine whether it's covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)...Generally, a business is covered by the FLSA if it has $500,000 or more in annual sales," Nolo said.

"Even if your employer is smaller, however, it is still covered by the FLSA (and must pay overtime) if it is engaged in what Congress calls 'interstate commerce'—that is, it conducts business between states," Nolo continued.

Further, small businesses that aren't covered by FLSA may still be required by certain state laws to pay overtime.

That all being said, some employees are exempt from overtime laws, meaning they aren't "entitled" to overtime pay. Exempt employees include independent contractors, criminal investigators and "white-collar workers," among others, according to Nolo.

Redditors React

Many Redditors applauded u/scifielder's "malicious compliance."

"That's awesome. Nice taste of his own medicine," u/HouseConsistent5160 said.

"That was a beautiful burn," u/Crismodin wrote.

"You catered to his demand and taught him a lesson! Great job!" u/flobaby1 exclaimed.

Others, meanwhile, vented about employers who eliminate overtime.

"It amazes me how much employers fail to understand overtime. Overtime is a signal to management that inefficiencies exist and/or there is a need for more workers. Arbitrarily forbidding or eliminating overtime is NEVER the answer," u/BigRiverHome argued.

Redditor u/edgeman83 added: "When a company eliminates overtime while still complaining about work not being done, that means they want people to work off the clock but won't come out and say it."

Newsweek reached out to u/scifielder for comment.

Other Viral Posts

A nurse said in a now-viral post that her employer thanked her husband for "sharing her" after working mandatory overtime.

Commenters slammed a boss on Monday who purportedly fired an employee for being 20 minutes late to work.

Also on Monday, Redditors praised an employee who "gaslit" their boss into giving their team more paid time off.

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