I hesitate to even write this post because I don’t want this to come across as me speaking badly about an employer. I LOVE both of my contract-based positions (teaching for “University A” and doing research for “University B”), but I just don’t know how to handle a situation I’m currently in and would love to open it up to you for advice. The sooner the better because we usually communicate on Monday mornings…..
In a nutshell (and I’m purposely being a little vague about things to try to protect identities, etc.), here’s what’s happened….
I was expecting a paycheck from my research job (“University B”) at the end of September. Only….it never came.
I emailed a couple of times about it and eventually got a reply that I would get paid in the late October or early November time frame.
I was shocked. I have NEVER had my payment so delayed. Generally I get paid once per month, about a month after the work was done (e.g., the paycheck I was expecting at the end of September was for work completed in August).
I replied to the email and said that, given the unexpected delay in receiving pay (2.5-3 months after work has been completed), I do not feel comfortable continuing to work with them right now. I made it clear that I would love to continue working with them in the future, but since this was a complete surprise (SHOCK!) to me (I had received no warning about delayed pay), it seems in my best interest to stop working until compensation is received. Right?? RIGHT??? I mean, you don’t just do work for someone who isn’t paying you, right?????
Several hours later, an email went out to all the contractors (not just me) explaining why there is this delay in pay. Here’s where I’m going to be vague because I don’t want to give details about the circumstances, but I’ll say that after there was a detailed explanation I totally understand the delay in pay. I feel that their primary error was in not notifying us IN ADVANCE of the situation (rather than waiting until after-the-fact to explain the payment problem).
So, yeah. I took last week off and didn’t complete any work for them. Generally on Mondays I let them know how much work I would like to complete for the week. So what do I do now? Would you continue working for University B, knowing that pay will be delayed several months (but that you will, in fact, get paid – there is nothing shady in terms of them trying not to pay). Or would you wait another week, two, or three?
Just so you know, the majority of my income comes from my teaching job (University A), but I do make a few hundred a week from my research job, so even though its a minority of our income, its still a decent-sized chunk of money on a monthly basis.
I just don’t know what to do??? I don’t want to keep working when compensation is coming so far behind the work completion, but I do have confidence that the pay is coming down the pipeline.
What would you do?