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unpaid working trial ?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by saaskya View Post
    So I'm just trying to grasp how 'normal' this is...
    But, how common is an unpaid trial in the horse world? I honestly don't know.
    It's not "normal" and quite honestly I don't think it's legal either.
    "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


    • #22
      A probationary or trial period is legal. Working someone without pay (except for limited exceptions) violates federal and state wage and hour law.


      • #23
        Originally posted by CosMonster View Post
        Most barn jobs I've worked (and hired other people for) require a trial period, but generally it is paid, sometimes a bit less than the standard salary if it's kind of a trial and training period, but something reasonable still.
        This. No way would I agree to work for a full week for FREE! That is not standard at all. Probationary periods mean that you may not be employed there long-term, but you should be compensated for the work that you do. Good luck!
        JB-Infinity Farm


        • #24
          Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
          Are you serious? Do you actually know contractors who would work for a week for free? That's total B.S. I've worked as a contractor and as a direct hire and there is no effing way I would give them a week gratis. I'd rather collect unenjoyment than give a week of free work. I have never, ever in my working life heard of this.
          I said in a later post that the worker should be paid.


          • #25
            I see a red flag.

            It's waving with considerable vigour.
            Oppositional-Defiant and Troll Starvation Expert.


            • #26
              That is very odd. And is it even legal in your state?

              If you're working those hours, you need to be paid for those hours. If they decide they don't like you, they can always let you go during a "probation" period. In some states they can let you go at any time for no real reason.

              And even if you prove to them you're super-awesome at the job, do you really want to be working for people who think nothing of your time? or who don't trust their interview skills enough to know if you have any chance of working out? Sounds like the kind of employer who has a habit of under-valuing their help. If it were me, I'd run away!
              Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


              • Original Poster

                I see the red flag quite clearly also, but I don't have the advantage of refusal at the moment. Thanks to aforementioned krazy horse people, I need a job. Like, three weeks ago.

                But, I am coming from a place that took HUUUUGE advantage of me (and anyone, but as BM, mostly me) so I certainly don't want to go there again. I am staying positive until tomorrow, when I will call the guy and make sure we are on the same page and things are kosher before I hit the road. I mean, I really don't have anything else going on this week so on one hand why not, but on the other hand, I don't really have the money to get up there and then once I do, I have NO money to buy food with. Plus, the fact that it doesn't really put prospective employers in good light when they don't want to pay you for working. :/

                But thanks, I'm glad I'm not being over-sensitive!


                • #28
                  I believe unpaid 'trial' periods are illegal. I had this issue at a job i worked - several people had to be provided with back pay once the legality issue came to light. Perhaps it varies state by state. This was in MA.


                  • #29
                    If these people truly do expect you to work any amount of time as an "unpaid trial" that is extremely sketchy and I would walk away from the situation without hesitation.

                    As a general aside, do not ever hesitate to ask potential employers any questions you have about the job, compensation, hours, benefits, days off, etc. You have every right to ask these things and any employer that acts funny about discussing these matters or doesn't give a straight answer is probably not a good employer and may be looking to take advantage of you.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by saaskya View Post
                      But, I am coming from a place that took HUUUUGE advantage of me (and anyone, but as BM, mostly me) so I certainly don't want to go there again.
                      If that's the case, now would be an excellent time to say to yourself: "Self, I'm not going to let anyone put me in a doormat position again."

                      Another handy phrase to remember: Those who cannot learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

                      Think how much worse you will feel if you spend food and gas money you can't afford to spend, then don't get hired anyway.


                      • #31
                        You are letting yourself being taken advantage of AGAIN. In fact you are rushing to be used. Outright insisting upon it. How many times have you already been told here it is not a kosher scenario, yet you are determined to go anyway? What the fruitbat?

                        Even if you would be "lucky enough" to get hired, come on, anyone that treats you ILLEGALLY like this upfront, you honestly expect the fairy tale will get any better?

                        Sorry, but I just am not going to join your pity party on this one. Not now, not later.

                        BTW, if you are that broke & have no food, go apply for some emergency food stamps. That I will not hold against you at all. And there is no shame at working at McDonald's or 7-11. Read the Off Topic forum, there are literal hundreds of (non horse) jobs being spoken of on there begging for workers. Maybe PM the CoTHers mentioning those jobs & ask for any direct links to postings & even inside info they can give you.
                        "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


                        • #32
                          Don't do it. I have had "working interviews" with vet clinics twice, and they were complete wastes of time.

                          Two different practices - the thing they had in common was that the doctors were complete asses, personality-wise. One place, I never heard from again, and the second, the woman who was in charge of hiring apologized to me profusely when she called to say that it wasn't going to work, said she feld awful about giving me the 'no,' and asked ME to contact her if I were still looking down the road, as she was the HR-type person for several different clinics.

                          But I really dodged two bullets there. I remember being REALLY angry a few days after each one thinking of all the better things I could have been doing.

                          Don't do it.
                          It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                          • #33
                            I don't think that is legal in ANY state. You have to pay people for their work. Trial period is one thing but I'd not want to work for someone who expects you to donate a week of work just to see if they like you.
                            Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                            Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                            • #34
                              Desperate for the job (any job that seems to hold promise) is one thing but you need to at least have your expenses covered, ie travel money, food & lodging.
                              Also realize that if you are not "on the books" as either a paid employee or a paying client, you are likely not covered by any insurance they may hold.

                              Email tonight, follow-up call in the morning & confirmation email before you head out


                              • #35
                                It's almost certainly illegal for a start.

                                A trial/probation period is common in lots of industries, but employers who have any respect for their staff pay them.


                                • #36
                                  just say no.
                                  "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                  ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                                  • #37
                                    Any updates? I hope everything works out for you. A door shuts and a window opens, and all that jazz.


                                    • #38
                                      I realize this could be unusual in the horse world. But it's common in business to have people come on as contractors for some period of time, and only if both sides are ready to commit are they converted to employees. If either party decides this was not a good fit, there is no messy record of a termination or quit. And no one is sticking with it and miserable just to avoid that record.
                                      Contractors is one thing. Contractors get paid.

                                      OP, this is on no level normal, even for the horseworld, where business practices that are considered horrific elsewhere are somehow totally normal (what other US-based employee earns the equivalent of $4 an hour and lives in her boss's basement?).

                                      If you need a job that badly, I would take just about anything else before working for someone who has already shown an unwillingness to pay you for your time. You're setting yourself up to be taken advantage of by someone who is telling you that they already think your time is worthless.

                                      Because if it was worth something, you'd be paid for it.
                                      They're small hearts.


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                                        I've seen only one barn do this - several times - and it's shady as hell. The "interviewee" was put on the difficult horses, did some stall cleaning, taught some lessons and was dismissed after a few days as not right for the job.

                                        I would be very suspicious.

                                        Ditto. Only slimebags do this kind of thing.

                                        Ever hear the idea "if someone shows you who they are, believe them?" This potential 'employer' is testing to see if you will tolerate being on the losing side of every equation.

                                        Ask yourself if you would expect for someone to do the same work for you for free?

                                        If this person is setting the stage where they tell you that they have to be proactively defending themselves from employees because be employees are such bad people, then this is not someone you want to work for anyway. All you are losing out on is the chance to spend $ traveling and housing yourself while volunteering.
                                        "Friend" me !



                                        • #40

                                          Well? What happened??

                                          Don't leave us all hanging!