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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Can Your Boss Force You To Donate To Charity?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

Our company is sponsoring a charity event. It is a formal event. Tickets are $125 each. In conversation the boss told me that I was expected to sell 6 tickets. He then changed it and said well actually 4 since you and your husband will be there. I told him immediately that I didn’t mind donating my time but that I could not afford to pay for myself much less myself and my husband to come to the event. He tried to make excuses saying it was a dinner out for us. I told him again that I couldn’t afford it and wouldn’t consider it a dinner out because I don’t spend that kind of money on a dinner. He then said that he thought he had told me it was mandatory for staff.

Mind you that he was smiling when he said this. He makes regular attempts to invoke emotional responses from people by saying outrageous things. So at this time I really don’t know if he was trolling me for a reaction or serious in his expectations. Usually I do not respond to his attempts to troll me but this one offended me.

Between the tickets, renting a tux and buying a formal dress it would cost approximately $400 to go. That is almost my full pay for week of work after taxes. That is a car payment. That is a months worth of groceries for my family. I have been actively seeking other employment since last October but as you know it’s a really hard job market and finding a job that meets my minimum needs are hard to come by.

I have gone from a loyal employee that watched out for the owner of the company to someone with extremely low morale due to the poor management of the owner. I do my job exceptionally, I just do not put any more effort than what I expect for myself.

To read the answer click here: Can Your Boss Force You To Donate To Charity


The Lamb said...

Very nice article, Susanne! I enjoy your writing style and sense of humour very much! :)

What if you are asked to chip in for buying a birthday present and you REALLY don't want to?

Anonymous said...

I like the suggestion of borrowing a dress and going alone. And if not able to make a cash donation to the charity, maybe she could volunteer some time and have them send a letter to the boss.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like giving the donation and then doing $200 worth of damage to the boss' automobile. I'm a big fan of alternative methods of compensation. It's really, really amazing what one can do with a bucket of tar, a 12 pound sledge, or a Stanley knife (sidewall? Ragtop???)

Anonymous said...

As someone who works for a nonprofit - of course I attend our fundraisers, but I don't buy a ticket! I'm also not served dinner with the paying guests. Staff work the event, are paid overtime if they are eligible for it and are served a less fancy meal in another room at the function facility. We have some staff who choose not to attend and that's also fine. We've never had another nonprofit's cause pushed upon us, but some staff do give collectively around the holidays, etc.

Iola said...

When I lived in England, one of my friends spent six months on secondment from British Telecom working for a charity (The Prince's Trust). BT paid her entire wages during that time, and she got great experience at the charity (and got to meet the Prince of Wales). She still does occasional work for the Trust on a purely voluntary basis.

Another person I knew worked for The Body Shop, which gives everyone up to six days' paid leave per year to volunteer at the registered charity of their choice.

That's how you 'force' people to donate to charity. They give their time. You pay their wages. The charity gets help (and may well get some extra once people realise how easy/how much fun it is), and you get something nice to put in the annual report. You don't force people to pay an over-the-top amount for a social event they won't be confortable at because it's outside their price range.