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Payroll is expected to enforce policies but always overruled

How much are the rest of you involved with either writing, contributing, or reviewing policies and practices for payroll? I am so frustrated right now because payroll is always expected to know every policy, every business practice and yet when we try to enforce it we are slapped down and told to pay the employee whatever the manager wants...

Case in point:
In 2008 the company's holiday policy changed from paying ee's time and a half for working on a holiday, with an additional day off later with pay to paying employees double time for working on the holiday. We have all the documentation of the e-mails that went out, the notice that was posted on the intranet etc etc. Our payroll runs Mon-Sun and this last week we had managers putting holiday pay on employees timecards for Sunday even though the holiday was actually Monday. When we questioned it we were told that these employees weren't going to be scheduled to work on Monday so it was only fair to give them the double time for Sunday... :? huh? These are not new managers who wouldn't be aware of the policy - they just choose to ignore it for the benefit of their employees. When we (payroll) wanted to fix it to follow the policy we were told by upper management to just pay the employees and not worry about it.
So what is the point of having policies if no one follows them? Then payroll gets blamed when an auditor comes in and asks to see our process and we didn't follow the written policy..Seriously this has been one of the most rotten weeks work wise.... :x


  • Be sure to ask the upper management slapping you down to provide you with written instructions - I realize that is not easy, but if they are asking you to depart from written policy with a verbal instruction, you are being set up to be fired anyway. I'm not sure I see the difference between this and conspiring to falsify a time card - it is, after all, paying an employee at an unauthorized rate. If upper management wants to authorize a special rate, it should be documented in writing.

    This is in upper management's best interest - after all, if there are other discrepancies - such as non-documented authorization for overtime for the payroll department - and upper management has a history of undocumented authorizations - it is really easy to say "Don't you remember? You told me to work those hours."
  • I always ask for written documentation of the "request" but yes, as you said, it's difficult to get. I pushed my luck one time and didn't act on a "request" waiting for written documentation and got hauled into my boss's office to get chewed out for not accomodating this important person's request... Have you ever been so angry with your boss that you are literally speechless? I just stared at him without saying anything for what felt like ages, but I'm sure was just seconds..

    (.btw he's not my boss anymore, but my new one is also on the edge on insanity.....) another funny sidenote - I was at church last night sitting with our music ministry folks and just talking about work in general and the drummer looks at me and says "you work at (blank) right?" I said yes and he said, "I worked there for about three months and I couldn't take it - it's like the inmates are running the asylum." :lol: I am not imagining this! Ha!
  • Hi Michelle,
    The other thing you can do (and I have done this with the state tax collections officers who tend to say things they hope you will forget they said) is send a written confirmation of the verbal instructions - possibly an e-mail sent to all in the chain of command involved in the change - and you may want to indicate your objections and/or ask for confirmation - and indicate it is just to make sure you understand what it is they are asking you to do.

    Be nice when you do it - but there is no reason for you to have wait for written confirmation and then get called on the carpet for waiting for that which will not come.
  • I guess I'm lucky in that most of the time, when I enforce policies related to payroll, I'm rarely challenged. And when I am challenged, I'm usually supported by upper management.

    Regarding the holiday - my company recognizes that not all of our employees work a Monday - Friday schedule and therefore the Labor Day holiday would be recognized on Sunday for some employees and on Tuesday for other employees (or possibly even on Wed or Sat if the employee is working 4/10s and has Sun, Mon, & Tue as their regular days off for the week). We pay time-and-a-half for working on a holiday (or holiday equivalent if the officially "observed" holiday falls on their regular day off) so we did pay OT to some employees for working their holiday on Sunday as well as on Tuesday.
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