Find out what the law says about meetings outside contractual working hours
You are newly hired and a boss demands that you participate in an after-hours meeting with other managers. What would your attitude be? Would you refuse or accept without complaining?
The response of a generation Z employee — a group made up of people born between 1995 and 2010 — for this situation was condemned by a tiktoker from the United States called Natalie Marie, who has more than 1 million followers on the networks. And she ended up receiving a barrage of criticism for her reaction.
It all started during the broadcast of the podcast presented by the influencer, which addresses unusual situations in the workplace. A listener asked her opinion about a new employee she had refused to attend a professional meeting to go to the gym.
“When asked to attend a meeting at 8 a.m., my new Gen Z hire said, ‘Urgh, sorry, I can’t make it. I have a fitness class,” the listener described.
Natalie reacted promptly, condemning the attitude: “You just started this job… I don’t give a shit about your gym class. Besides, an 8am gym class is too late. Go train at 6am, maybe 7am .”
The comment generated outrage among part of the public, and many came to the employee’s defense. One of them was another tiktoker, Alexandre Evidente, whose reaction video has been watched over 30 million times.
“I have commitments outside of work. I go to the gym. I exercise because I care about my health. Of course, I can make a sacrifice to go to a meeting at 8 am, if I knew at least a week in advance that I needed it”, he commented.
But, after all, what would be the correct attitude? g1 spoke to a lawyer specializing in labor rights and with a collaborative team management teacher to explain:
1. Can the company require attendance at meetings outside of working hours?
If the meetings are in the contractual provision, yes. Otherwise, it is recommended that companies and employees establish prior agreements.
➡️ It is worth noting that meetings at times other than those established in the contract cannot be habitual and should not compromise personal life of the employee, says lawyer specializing in labor law Maurício Veiga.
In the case of the podcast, when making a new video, apologizing for disapproving the attitude of the employee who refused to go to the meeting, Natalie Marie showed the message from the listener who brought the case to light.
In it, the boss pointed out that the 8am meeting takes place every three months and that everyone is informed about this when they sign the contract. But it is not clear when the date of the meeting is announced.
The boss also said that the event takes place to include teams that are in different locations (and, therefore, time zones), in Europe and India.
2. Can I be fired for just cause if I don’t participate?
Although holding meetings outside office hours is part of the routine of some companies, the non-participation of employees cannot generate dismissals for just cause and not even warnings, according to Maurício Veiga.
However, in Brazil, the employer can dismiss without justification and pay severance pay.
3. Do I receive overtime when attending meetings outside of working hours?
Yes. When meetings occur at times different from those established in the contract, the overtime must be paid or entered into the time bank to be compensated, advises the lawyer.
4. How should after-hours meetings be scheduled?
The first step is to have a dialogue and be flexible, suggests Mariana Malvezzi, professor of collaborative team management at ESPM.
It is important to keep in mind that employees have their personal commitments. Therefore, reaching a common agreement for the Defining the dates in advance is necessary for planning.
“Generation Z is detached, without much ambition. Unlike previous generations, they are more concerned about finding a balance between professional and personal. Companies need to understand this reality to captivate them and create identification”, says Mariana.
5. How to avoid conflicts between generations in the workplace?
The perception of the world between generation Z and millennials, born between 1983 and 1994, is a little different. This is mainly due to the socio-environmental and technological conditions in which they were inserted during childhoodexplains the team management professor.