It is extremely important that all members keep a work journal of hours worked, their weekly schedule, events that are out of the ordinary and special requests with management for time off just to name a few.

On a weekly basis, you should reconcile your pay check stub to the actual hours that you have in your journal. It is very common to work different
hours than the schedule that was posted. Many times you are asked to work longer than scheduled, your schedule is changed due to a sick call, you have transportation problems and for plenty of other reasons.

We expect management to pay you correctly, but mistakes are made regularly on payroll and these records will make it much easier for you to get the pay that you deserve. If it is necessary to file a grievance, then these records will be essential for winning your case. Those employees on direct deposit need to request and examine paystubs regularly.

Members that are trying to establish full time status need consecutive weeks of 40 hours in five days. A journal of hours worked has been the difference in many cases where their employer has paid them incorrectly. Their records allowed us to prove that there was a mistake made in payroll and correct the records securing the full time status for the member.

Customer complaints can be investigated by management days and weeks after the actual incidents take place. Many employers have websites or phone numbers where a customer can visit or call to register a complaint about the service they received during their visit and also about members. Many times it is the customer’s word against yours and keeping a journal documenting the incident can be a great defense if discipline is given by management.

Just a short paragraph along with dates, times and any witness’s names can sometimes be enough to help your Rep fight a written warning or a suspension.

A work journal can be very important to document work directions and demands that are given by management. These notes are especially important if asked to do something that may be a violation of company policy or from directives given by other members of management. We see discipline including termination in cases where the defense is that the member was following the directions given by management. In these cases, it is important to document the date and if any witnesses were present.

If you have questions about the directive, ask questions and do not hesitate to ask another manager for clarification, and then document that conversation as well. Your Union Rep is always available if you need advice on how best to handle any management requests or directions that you feel could get you into trouble.

Many members carry a compact calendar or notebook that works well as a work journal. Keeping a journal may seem like an unnecessary burden to some, but it can serve as a valuable tool to document workplace events that could mean the difference being paid correctly or not, and protecting your job with facts, dates and witnesses.

-Written by Field Director, Chuck Adinolfi