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Ask L2: Should I be paid for a postponed start date?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

“I could have stayed at my previous job a week longer making money, but now I'm out of pay for a week. Should I insist they pay me for this week waiting on them or should I just let it go?”


Disclaimer: Identities are kept confidential. The advice given here should be taken at your own risk. If you are having true mental or physical issues, please seek professional assistance.



I just left a permanent position I was in for three years to take a chance to grow with a contract to permanent position. My start date was supposed to be last Monday. They called to tell me they are running behind with laptop build-outs and as soon as they have a tracking number, they would let me know.

I've been in limbo this week not working. Now they told me my start date will be next Monday. I could have stayed at my previous job a week longer making money, but now I'm out of pay for a week. Should I insist they pay me for this week waiting on them or should I just let it go? I don't want to start on the wrong foot with them, but in my opinion, this isn't a good way to start. It was inconsiderate to keep me in limbo waiting on them and then I'm not getting paid. My time is money just like theirs is. Any insight on how to handle this? Thanks!


 

When people show you who they are, believe them. I wouldn’t demand anything, but I would bring it up: “I appreciate the communication. I wanted to ask if we could discuss the delayed week where I was unable to get started. I was without income for that week, and with proper notice, I would have stayed at my previous employer to cover that time. Is there any way to receive an additional contract payment for that time? I’m very excited about this opportunity, but this has unfortunately created some hardship for me.”

I can’t guarantee that they'll respond well to it, so you have to be prepared for any outcome. Maybe wait until after your start date if you’re really worried about it. I do think, however, that delaying your start date without notice and leaving you without income is not acceptable, and that it should be discussed.

Also, I want you to keep in mind that I encourage this as someone who would be annoyed but not put out by missing a week of pay. The reason I say that is if you’re really worried this will affect your long-term prospects with them and that this could be harmful to your ability to put food on the table if they respond poorly, then those concerns are real and valid. It isn’t super helpful, but it could go either way.

I feel strongly that delays on their part should not result in a lack of pay for you. That said, I can’t guarantee their response to that, and I just want you to understand the potential outcomes.

Good luck!


L2



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1 Comment


Alison Baldyga
Alison Baldyga
Mar 23, 2023

Great advice!

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