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Perdiem up front?

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In the past when I worked for Bartlett I always had a perdiem check waiting whenI got to a site. I recently agreed to a position with another company who said I won't get any perdiem until I get my first paycheck a week after arival.  So, my question is dpes the company have to pay up front or can they actualy expect me to live for free the first week? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Carolina Jethro:
It is up to the company. Most companies will give you an advance upon request. My best advice is to always carry enough with you to job to last a couple of weeks because more than once I have arrived at a site and not have the advanced per diem waiting on me and have had to go to second or third week to get straightened out.Sometimes payroll personnel & recruiters don't communicate in time to get your advance and company won't cut a check on any other day than the regular payroll day.

If I recall right, last time I worked for Numanco you could get an 'advance' if you requested it before you arrived, but it was not a full weeks diem. Caught me by surprise, but since i as coming off a job was not a problem that time. The Site Co was making effort to get advances for the people that were caught tight by that twist. Sometime's the call to get you to a job is so late ('can you be there by 9 tonite? No? Then how about 2 tomorrow?), that they don't get the check cut in time. Good S. C.'s with the help of some geneous good friends got me through that one. ( Thanks guy's! I really do know who you where...)
Jethro is right, best to have the cash or a credit card to get through those days, but not always an option after a dry summer or other surprise.

Already Gone:
It's not a question of what they "can" or "can't" do.  There is absolutely no law requiring them to give you per diem in the first place.  Reimbursement of expenses, whether by the per diem method or expense account or other means, is strictly voluntary on the part of the employer.
You, as the employee, have the option of rejecting job offers that do not meet your requirements.  Even the unemployment office won't expect you to take a job out of town.
If you are willing to travel for work, and you are willing to accept the terms of the employment ( pay, benefits, expenses,... etc.) then you get the job.
If you won't, or can't, take a job because the per diem doesn't come until payday, then work somewhere else.
Some companies actually require you to get a company credit card in your own name, pay the bill yourself, and use the statement as proof of expenses.  They only pay expenses once per month - usually in time to pay the credit card bill without incurring a finance charge.  But, if an expense doesn't post to the card until after the due date of your expense report, you don't get the reimbursement until the next month.
Some companies pay per diem, and expect you to repay the amount you did not spend.
And most companies just plain old hire people who can show up.  What it costs you to show up is your problem.
Now, after all that, does it really seem like waiting until payday is such a hardship?


Like B.C. said, Per Diem isn't a guarantee at all.  Over the years, the many companies had different policies on up front Per Diem.  I would have to say, Bartlett is extremely generous with their advance policy.  The other companies didn't quite figure the advance game out and it cause a lot of problems for them, probably put some of them out of business!  Bartletts policy, rules out one of the most irritation situations for all techs, Cash to cover expenses on opening day.  Then another check on the following Thursday.  Actually it sets a certain amount of trust on behalf of the company.  The one's who don't pay the advanced PD, indicate to me, that they don't trust their employee's.  No trust on their part, means no trust on my part!  After all, If I'm spending my money, to keep them in business, somethings really wrong!  I know a few techs out there that got bit by the bankrupt companies, so I always ask for up front money. 

A few years back, I had the misfortune of working a site for Numanco, who failed to indicate their policy on advance Per Diem, to most of the techs.  On opening day, I answered about a thousand questions, most hostile, on money issues!  The office response was simple, Not Their Problem!  After burning the day, answering questions and filling out the $200.00, advanced expense paperwork, the day was a bust.  Although it probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, I shelled out a few thousand bucks, over the next few days, in loans.  That situation pissed me off even more!  Seemed I had more trust in the techs, than the company that hired them!  I got it all back, with no problems.  They have asked me several times, why I wont work for them anymore?........DUH!!!!!

As B.C. say, negotiate your conditions of compensation up front.  If working for a company is going to be a financial burdon, even for the first week, and they are unwilling to adjust their policies, I'd make some more phone calls.  After a while those companies will figure it out, or close the doors!

No Per Diem Jobs.  Most companies call them long term positions.  These are the places that have a high turnover rate and they can't seem to figure out why?  Here is a small hint for those employers, if your not paying Per Diem and the wages are lower than $30.00 an hour, you haven't taken your employees off the job market!  Their probably just sitting back, taking your cash, waiting for a better opportunity!  When opportunities arise, it's usually in mass numbers, with to-day notice!  Sad, but true, so be prepared!

Have a Great Day, RG


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