Let’s face it: Work can be extremely stressful.
If you are working full-time, you already know this. Coworkers can be bitchy, clients can be a pain in the ass and bosses can inspire the making of "Horrible Bosses 3."
Granted, these are the things that come with the “I have a job” package, that aren’t included in the contracts you sign upon employment. But, there is one thing you shouldn't worry about on the clock, and that’s your finances earned.
The majority of your week is spent at the office (or at home), and if you're not getting paid correctly and accordingly, it’s time to leave.
Sure, the job market is rough, but it’s worse to be stuck in a situation where you keep receiving excuses regarding the amount of your paycheck.
Here are the five financial red flags that mean you should have been looking for a new job, like, yesterday.
1. Your paychecks come in late.
Chances are, if your paychecks are hitting your bank account late on an almost regular occasion, the company you work for could be in financial trouble. Keep an eye out to see if these checks arrive after a client has paid for a service, or if an investor dropped some cash in. This usually means the company is dependent on check-to-check from clients, which is a very bad sign.
And if your boss goes on elaborate “conferences,” and pays for luxury upkeep like a boat or jet ski paint job? That’s an even worse sign.
Side note: If your boss dismisses your late check by questioning your spending or saying something along the lines of “What bills do you have to pay? You live with your family,” remember, it’s none of his business.
Not only are those statements made to deflect the underlying issue at hand, but it is downright rude and disrespectful to downplay financial urgency. And no job is worth it.
2. There is no accountant or accounting department.
If your boss is emailing billing issues to a generic email address, such as “Billing@CompanyName.com” or “Accounting@YourJobSucks.com,” and there is no sign of a person who answers those emails, get the f*ck out.
It’s not uncommon to have tasks outsourced by companies, as it is essentially cost effective, but it’s a whole different ball game when that task is outsourced to someone who, well, may not exist. Try this test: Email that address separately, and see if a person responds.
If the response you receive is written how your boss writes his emails, chances are that your boss is monitoring that email address to create an illusion of an accountant or billing department. Now, that’s some Mr. Ripley sh*t right there!
Also, request to call the pseudo accountant personally, and see how your boss reacts.
3. Checks issued to you bounce.
Checks bouncing is only okay if you’re a little kid trying to play grown up.
When it’s your boss' checks that are bouncing, and employees’ bank accounts are at stake, it’s anything but okay.
It’s time to find a new job where you will get paid correctly, without bounced statements and your bank’s fee for the lack of finances from them. Bounced checks are also illegal and a huge employment violation.
4. You sign a 1099.
(Disclaimer: This is not always a red flag, but in some instances, it could be.)
Employers use 1099s instead of W-9s to save money because they will not have to pay taxes or invest in health benefits for their employees. With a 1099, a business is not required to provide benefits, such as medical, for employees, if those employees are independent contractors.
By not paying your taxes, it's cheaper for employers, as they don't have to submit taxes on a quarterly basis or run payroll for you. That being said, if you are a 1099 employee, and you’re being treated like a salaried employee (ex. being told to stay after work, or driving to various locations to client meetings without pay or compensation), your boss may be trying to pull a fast one on you.
Document everything outside of work hours your boss requests for you to do outside of the normal office hours and location, or simply don’t do them. If you choose the latter of the two options, stand your ground and remind your boss that no, you are not a salaried employee.
Feeling extra ballsy? The beauty of a 1099 is the freedom to work at any damn location you please. So, don’t bite your tongue if it’s necessary to state that it is indeed not required for you to come to the office with your employment status.
5. You hear a client offer to lend your boss a loan after saying, “I know you don’t have the money."
Enough said. Run!