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Who's Responsible?

By Steve Jones,

In college and for a short time afterwards, I worked at restaurants in various capacities. I've held most of the jobs available and enjoyed my experiences. I had good and bad bosses and sometimes had to endure questionable practices from management. Often I needed money, so I couldn't take a moral stand and was at the mercy of some manager. I think a bad restaurant manager at a part-time bartending position eventually caused me to choose to leave that industry. With a fulltime day job in technology, I could forgo the extra weekend money to avoid additional stress.

Bad managers and practices still exist, and I was reminded of this in an article recently. The practice of forcing employees to pay for mistakes is blatantly illegal, and I hope someone gets a few days in jail as a result of the case. However, I started to wonder if this trend might ever make it to our industry. Especially with the changes in services as more systems move to cloud environments.

I've worked in companies that debated my expense reports, and refused payment for some charges. Some of your might have had the same experiences, which often cause you to be very cautious about future expenditures. That could be good or bad for business, but it certainly is a problem for the employee.

These days I find plenty of employees that will setup or provision some cloud service using their own credit card, expecting to be reimbursed at the end of the month. What happens if the company doesn't want to pay? A manager decides the service wasn't necessary. What would you do? What if you provision the wrong service, or forget to terminate something. These are common mistakes in business, but would you pay for the mistake? What if you didn't pay for the service, but the company wants to deduct the charges made by mistakes from your paycheck. Do you fight this? Bring a lawsuit? Plenty of possible actions might ensure you aren't financially penalized but could cost you your job.

I'd like to think that this wouldn't be an issue for salaried, technology workers, but I wonder. Is there any reason to worry? Let me know what you think.

 
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