Am I being unreasonable?

I’d like some opinions on whether I am being unreasonable here or not. I believe that I am getting a raw deal at work and have complained.

I sent this to our internal anonymous complaints area. I think it is self explanatory.

I then waited for weeks…

And then I received this reply:

I don’t think that this response is good enough.

The first problem is the quote that “Policies or benefits that are “grandfathered” are not considered by [company] to be discriminatory.”

Well, I do consider this to be discriminatory. Some of us are getting benefits that others are not. This may not be discrimination against a legally protected class, but it’s still discrimination, and therefore wrong.

In any case, we are not asking for a handout or gift. We just want the company to pay its own costs. We don’t think that we should be subsidising the company.

I also don’t think that they should be asking me to do a three month logging exercise to keep track of telephone use so they can reimburse me. My family should not have to be without a private telephone line for any but the shortest time because of my work.

A point to note: When I moved into this area of the company, it was just assumed by me and my then manager that I would be able to have a telephone line put in like everyone else. The policy changed (without us being informed) sometime before I applied for my new line. I didn’t need one straight away, as I did not begin on after hours support immediately.

Please let me know if you think I am being reasonable or not. I can handle being told I’m wrong, but be nice. I’m pretty grumpy at the moment. :slight_smile:

Your company expects you to be on-line from home for hours at a time, and is too cheap to pay for a second line? I’d start looking for employment elsewhere.

I don’t know if I’d say it’s discriminatory, exactly, but I believe the company should pay its own expenses. If they use your resources, they should pay for them.

The part that I think is discriminatory is that they do pay for some peoples second 'phone line, but not for others. They seem to recognise that it is a problem, and used to do something about it, but have recently decided to say “Aww, fuck 'em”

Also keep a record of any unreimbursed expenses, such as the second phone line and look into its deductibility for income tax.

If they picked people to pay for based on something other than timing, I’d agree. But timing makes all the difference to me when it comes to calling something “discrimination.”

I’m a sales manager, and as we hire or fire employees the rules sometimes change. So one person might be working for us under one set of rules and another under another set. That happens. What doesn’t happen is us not paying the expenses we force our employees to incur. That’s crazy.

I might be missing something but why don’t you just have a second line put in and present them with the bill as soon as you get it every month?

I think this…

*“As to ongoing situation, [company] does have a policy of reimbursing employees for costs associated with doing [company] business, and I have confirmed with your business that you are entitled to any phone call costs incurred as a result of you having to dial up/make work phone calls.”
*“I have advised your business that the tardiness or non receipt of reimbursements is not satisfactory, and needs to be done in a timely manner. They have confirmed that this will occur.”

Should be enough to go by.

I’ve been told that they will not pay for the installation costs (a couple hundred dollars in some cases).

Also, the company response in my OP appears to say they will only pay pro rata for line rental costs. Even if I work 40 hours from home in a month that’s only (40/(30*24)) 5% of the months fee.

Oh, hang on…I see…maybe they mean pro rata by number of calls. Then that would be 100% for them. I’ll have to clarify that.

Still doesn’t solve the intallation problem though…

I don’t know if you have some special situation or whatnot, but installing a second phone line is typically a very inexpensive and easy task. Modern homes are almost always wired with 2 twisted pair to each outlet. All the phone company would have to do is turn on an extra line and have a technician come and make the connection at the junction box. In my experience this will typically cost less than $50, a fee that is often waived for new lines. In any case, before getting overly bent out of shape you should be sure to call the phone company and find out exactly what the actual costs will be.

As for the premise, I agree that based on their response, you should be able to submit the cost of the phone bill each month. To facilitate this perhaps asking the phone company to provide a seperate bill would be good. Also you’d probably want to be certain to refrain from using the second line for anything other than business calls, just to avoid and niggling by the AP department.

Phone lines aren’t exactly a high cost item these days and I’d imagine that as long as the calls are all local you should be able to establish a dedicated line for about $25 a month. An amount the company would be silly to fight over, IMHO.

Assuming the manager isn’t straight up fighting you on this, you should be able to justify expensing it each month. It’s not as convienent as having the company as the billable party, but still shouldn’t be a major roadblock.

The company is being a little difficult, but they haven’t straight up said no. Before getting too upset I’d continue asking questions and find out what the reality of the situation will be.

As I understand it, you haven’t obtained the second line yet. If so, how about ordering the second line on a completely separate bill from your personal line, and submit the intial bill (which includes the installation charge) to your employer. Or you might ask the phone company to divide the installation charge among the first six or twelve monthly bills. Then, continue to submit the monthly bill to the employer for reimbursement. If they challenge you, argue that you only ordered the line for the company’s benefit and it is not at all used for personal calls.

No, don’t submit a bill that hasn’t been authorized in advance. It sounds like the company has strick rules, and you could get screwed.

What costs are involved and how much do they expect you to use your personal phone? If it’s an hour a month, then you just deal with it, even if other people get a better deal. Rules change, it’s just a fact of corporations. Now, if they are having you spend an hour a day on it, then you need to get it done now, and not wait the three months.

(bolding mine)

so, what if you live where there is no mobile signal ? or a completely unreliable one ? i know i can’t use my mobile phone at my apartment.

also, why should you have to incur the expense of a mobile phone ?

If they really expect you to be online for hours at a time they clearly should be paying for a second line and if the managers can’t see that they’ve got issues. One way to handle this, of course, is to *not * be online for hours at a time and insist it’s not possible because you have incoming phone calls, etc. If you make your not having a second line annoying for them rather than your family, they’ll probably see the wisdom in paying the small expense to get you one.

The grandfather issue is your problem, not theirs. It’s the nature of business - everyone has a different arrangement during hiring and not everything’s fair. The fact is if people were given a benefit when they started and the company wants to stop giving that benefit then half the time they’ll simply decide to eliminate the benefit for newcomers rather than getting into a fight with old-timers by taking away something they’ve always had. There’s a lot of wisdom too this, trust me and most people understand that there are benefits of “seniority” so there’s usually not a stink about it from newer people.

How strong is the REQUIREMENT of after-hours support.

If you told your boss, “I can’t tie up my phone lines at home with this stuff and the company won’t pay for an additional one” what’s his reponse?

or you do just want to play the martyr (we all know people like this: “I HAVE to be there or things will fall apart”) but you want the company to pay for it because being a martyr inconveniences you?

Is it in the job description that you’re on call from home during after hours?

I was in essentially the same situation until I switched to DSL and it became a moot point. While I think you are right to be annoyed at your situation, it is something that happens all the time. Being right doesn’t really matter. What is your course of action? If you continue to press your point, do you expect success? Personally, I would not. YMMV.

You don’t say if your employer is paying your Internet connection fees. If so, get broadband & ditch the second line.

In addition to the majority of the posts (and their answers)… in response to your original question: No, I don’t believe you are being unreasonable, based on what you’ve said.

Whose going to wait for an emergency call you didn’t receive, just so you can document it and show them? That’s insane.

The cost of a second line to an employee is so marginal that most companies would just suck it up and pay it. After all, it means that you’re more likely to work from home. Your company is either being pennywise and pound foolish, undergoing the kind of economizing that usually precedes layoffs and plunging stock prices, or (possibly) has decided that logging on at night is a relatively rare occurence.

So…you’re not being too unreasonable, but I’d frankly get them to pay for DSL or real internet access rather than phone lines.

Yeah, I have to agree with all who said this is bullshit. Companies are not allowed to expect their employees to incur costs in making money for them. It just doesn’t work that way. I don’t use my car, my phone, my house, my paper, my pens, anything to make money for my employer (if I had one) without expecting to be re-imbursed. And most people having a cell phone is a moot point, unless it’s a company cell.

On the plus side, though, if you have to incur the cost of a second line, you can probably write it off 100% on your taxes. :smiley: