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  #1  
Old 04-19-2017, 11:27 PM
1luckyguy 1luckyguy is offline
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Default Officer Controlling Employment - Questions

I was sentenced in September of 2016 to 5 years of Federal Probation.

At the time of Sentencing I was currently on supervised release.

I was then, and still am employed at the same company. Currently I have only been getting about 28-30 hours a week. My probation officer told me they had my case review and her and her supervisor discussed my current employment and said that I need to be working full time.

I spoke to my current boss, and told them I needed a full time position, however at the current time hours are already hard to come by and there was nothing they could do. I was told should someone leave the company, I would be able to get the hours I need no problem.

My manager did offer to reach out to another location and see if I could pick up a few shifts a week at another store to get the hours I needed to fulfill my 40 hours. Another store said they could use me no problem and were willing to get me on the schedule.

When I contacted my probation officer to let her know, she told me that my current job was not an option, and that her supervisor would not approve that.

What am I missing? I feel like I am doing everything I can do maintain my freedom but I keep running into these roadblocks.

Can your probation officer force you to quit a job because they don't like it? For what its worth I am a delivery driver for a local company.

I just don't understand what the problem is.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:50 AM
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The reason POs are such sticklers about working full-time is that they know that the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that people who don't have work (and/or school) occupying their time are far more likely to recidivate and re-offend. ("Idle hands are the devil's playthings" and all.) Studies have shown over and over again that unemployed (and underemployed) felons tend to be at much higher risk of breaking the law and getting into trouble again. That's why they strive so hard to keep you busy.

One option to consider, if you aren't able to get enough enough hours at your main job, is see if your PO would be okay if you took out a second job (even if only very part-time) to at least bring your weekly hours up to a point where you'd be considered occupied "full-time."

Or you could always go back to school. The simple fact of the matter is, without a college degree, decent-paying full-time jobs are rather hard to come by these days. So you are often going to be stuck working part-time for shit wages.

Anyway, just some food for thought.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:51 AM
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Yes and no. Most agencies have a condition of release that the individual maintain full-time employment. This clearly is NOT full-time employment. You would likely be able to satisfy the requirement by adding a part-time job somewhere else that brings you to 40 or more hours. Alternately, enroll in college classes to pick up the slack...
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:36 AM
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Did you guys even ready my post? Both mention another part time job.

My job is offering me full time hours split between 2 stores. Same company, same payroll, same paycheck. And probation officer is not approving it.

No way she will approve 2 part time jobs if she wont approve this. I just don't see how she can tell me this.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:43 AM
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Oh sorry. You weren't very clear in your OP.

Are you sure your PO understands this is what you're talking about?

Because if you explained it just like you did just now, no wonder she is confused.

If working two part-time jobs isn't an option, I'd highly suggest going back to school to get your PO off your back.

Most POs have no problem with part-time work hours so long as you are going to school at the same time.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:46 AM
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I explained it fine. I get 30 hours at my store. My manager reached out to another store that said they could use me a few days a week to get me to my 40 hours. Same company, same job, same payroll, po says no find another job.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:51 AM
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Okay, my friend. Whatever you say.

Because I've never seen a PO have a problem with working two part-time jobs, when explained properly.

You really should consider going back to school anyway. Delivery jobs pay peanuts. Pretty hard to support yourself on those low wages.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:55 AM
1luckyguy 1luckyguy is offline
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Please keep these ignroant comments to yourself. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about as you have no idea my salary or financial status. To make such statements speaks volumes.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:01 AM
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Alright, I apologize. I was just trying to throw out some ideas.

If it's really true your PO isn't allowing you to work full-time hours split between two jobs sites, I'd be really tempted to go over her head and speak to her supervisor directly. Because that seems very unconventional.

But that does come with some risk... you generally don't want to get on a PO's bad side if you can help it.

Have you tried asking your PO if she has any suggestions? The best way to satisfy her while still allowing you to find full-time hours somehow?
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickel Timer View Post
Alright, I apologize. I was just trying to throw out some ideas.

If it's really true your PO isn't allowing you to work full-time hours split between two jobs sites, I'd be really tempted to go over her head and speak to her supervisor directly. Because that seems very unconventional.

But that does come with some risk... you generally don't want to get on a PO's bad side if you can help it.

Have you tried asking your PO if she has any suggestions? The best way to satisfy her while still allowing you to find full-time hours somehow?

Thank you! Yes, I could always find another job that would be a full time position. I've just held this job for several years. My current boss was aware of my charges during pre-sentence, and post sentencing and has been willing to work with me through it all and that's tough to find.

I just don't see how my PO can dictate where I work if it doesn't violate my conditions of release. Its been fine for 8 months since I was sentenced and now all of a sudden I need to find another employer. Its just not adding up for me. I make good money, I've never missed a restitution payment, all my bills are paid on time, and truth be told its going to be hard to find another job now with my charge making as much as I am currently.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:15 AM
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Yes, I mean, the only reason I can think of why a PO might deny working at two job sites like that is if perhaps one of the sites is located in a different city or something, and perhaps she doesn't want you traveling too far away from home for whatever reason.

But if you're a delivery driver, I assume you're already going to be driving all over the place anyway. Unless THAT is what she has a problem with.

It might be worth risking going over her head and speaking to a superior, just to get some clarification.

I can understand you not wanting to lose your job, especially if you've held it down for several years and probably earned several promotions and possible benefits and all that.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:05 AM
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As much as I hate to say it, parole can pretty much dictate whatever they wish.
(and as an aside, I did understand what you were saying in your first post)
I also hate it that they dont seem to want or care to explain WHY they wont allow some things.
To me it makes perfect sense to be allowed to work basically part time at two different locations.
If you are keeping up with restitution payments and doing all the other things required of you by parole/probation I dont see the problem.
In all honesty, one would think they would be glad you have a job.
Hell these days finding a job that offers 40 hrs a week can be hard for anyone, let alone someone on supervision.

Im sorry I cant offer better advice. I'd be careful about going *above* her head tho.
They dont care for that. You might HAVE to, but it will probably be for nothing.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:11 AM
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5 years probation is so less bad that any prison time I think doing what the PO says and doing it with a smile might be the best route.

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Old 04-20-2017, 09:16 AM
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I did not read back story.
Trouble is......sometimes the agents THINK you have an agenda, even if you dont.
And I always thought restitution does not go away once off supervision.
If he is told he has to quit this job......how is he going to pay his fines/restitution?
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:46 AM
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I agree that this seems to be a frustrating situation. What does she consider "full time" to be hour wise? I have a suggestion that might help. Since it seems your boss is being very understanding of your situation & wants to help make it work maybe he'd be willing to help you with this. What about getting him to write a letter verifying your employment & you can give it to your PO? the letter could say something like

To whom it may concern:
John Doe has been employed by XYZ Company as a driver since 2015. He is assigned to Store A working this schedule- Monday -Thursday 8am - 3pm. Additionally, he will be working at Store B Thursday-Friday from 4pm-9pm. His total hours scheduled for work will be 38 hours.


That way it shows you are working a total of full time hours for 1 employer even though it's for 2 store locations. That's not 2 part time jobs but rather 1 job for the same company but 2 sets of managers. Unless I'm misunderstanding your situation that could be considered full time.

If you are on Federal probation, there should be someone in the office of supervision that you could contact to ask how to make this work. For someone to have a pretty much full time job & the probation people not working with you is counterproductive to re-entry. Are there any re-entry or advocacy groups in your area that might help you through this? It's worth a try.

Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:56 AM
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Also adding........they said they wanted him to be employed full time.
School isnt employment. (not that I think its bad just taking what was said here that he is supposed to be employed full time)
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaReform View Post
To whom it may concern:
John Doe has been employed by XYZ Company as a driver since 2015. He is assigned to Store A working this schedule- Monday -Thursday 8am - 3pm. Additionally, he will be working at Store B Thursday-Friday from 4pm-9pm. His total hours scheduled for work will be 38 hours.
That's a very good point, GaReform.

In fact, once I was dropped down from "intense" to "medium" supervision the first time around, my latter PO was real laid back, only wanted to see paycheck stubs to prove I was working full-time. So if it's all listed together on one paycheck, what is the problem?

That's why I'm beginning to suspect the PO doesn't really have a problem with him working two part-time jobs, but rather just the fact that he's traveling around so much as a delivery driver at all. Which is why she wants him to find a different line of work.

Of course, I could talk your ear off about how some of my POs have tried to sabotage me and get me fired from jobs by proactively calling them and harassing them about my history and almost demanding to know why they are even wanting to take a risk hiring a convicted thief in the first place, but... I better stop myself before I work myself up and get my blood pressure boiling just thinking back about it.

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Old 04-20-2017, 11:06 AM
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Do you have a lawyer you can ask? The courts have given POs massive power over the people they are supervising, much of it being totally discretionary. It definitely isn't any fun, but you do seem to have avoided a much worse fate, prison followed by probation.

If your PO files a violation against you, its not necessary to break a law, only to not meet your POs expectations, in order to be sentenced to jail/prison, in effect for contempt of POlice.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1luckyguy View Post
I explained it fine. I get 30 hours at my store. My manager reached out to another store that said they could use me a few days a week to get me to my 40 hours. Same company, same job, same payroll, po says no find another job.
Supervising officers want consistency. The second location is no different than being on-call. That is why the PO likely has issues with that. It is VERY different than actually having a real part-time job with a second entity.

But, hey, you would rather get pissy when people offer opinions based upon experiences, so good luck in the future...I'm sure that the attitude ALSO comes out when you meet with the supervising officer, which means the discretion they have isn't going to be used with you.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:42 PM
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Also adding........they said they wanted him to be employed full time.
School isnt employment. (not that I think its bad just taking what was said here that he is supposed to be employed full time)
Most agencies have policies that allow college enrollment to substitute for employment.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:29 AM
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Just taking what was said here. The po wanted him to have full time employment.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:33 AM
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**Supervising officers want consistency.**

So do the parolee's.

Hopefully they can work something out.
It really sounds like they dont want him working where he's working. As to the why? not sure. Especially since he's been doing it for a bit now, and all of a sudden its not ok.
It just seems petty to deny him a job that has been working with him and his conditions, and are willing to try to get him more hours.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:06 AM
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"So do the parolee's."

And I don't blame them, but I have learned from reading here few POs care. I was very lucky in that my POs were both fantastic, but I know that isn't aways the case.

This is just a sense I have, but I think the OP's type of crime, the restitution and the getting just probation rather than prison time and probation has more to do with this strictness from the PO than we know about.

I can see the type of job being a problem too; not in one consistent place, much time to sneak in a stop here and there. Again the type of crime that caused the arrest might come into play.

I think most of us when relating a story tend to bias it in our favor - we are only hearing one side of this story. There is even a chance the judge specified at sentencing that along with the luxury of just probation came strict probation.

I do know after re-reading the OP's old posts that he thought he was getting prison time, did not and that is a huge, huge blessing. A blessing so big I suggest no matter how much he disagrees with how the PO does things he should remind himself it's to his advantage to keep the PO happy. I also think the PO wouldn't be asking something of him unless she was well within probation rules.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
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And I don't blame them, but I have learned from reading here few POs care. I was very lucky in that my POs were both fantastic, but I know that isn't aways the case.

This is just a sense I have, but I think the OP's type of crime, the restitution and the getting just probation rather than prison time and probation has more to do with this strictness from the PO than we know about.
I suspect you are on to something, safran.

With all due respect to the War on Drugs, your particular offense was pretty dang mild compared to some of the rest of us who have real victims and real serious crimes. So that probably played a big role in your personal experience of how easy your federal probation was for you.

I truly do believe we property offenders get treated much more harshly than mere drug offenders do, and the POs really make our time on supervision a living hell, especially at first, until we are ever able to prove ourselves as being serious about wanting to stay out of trouble.

Judging based on the OP's prior posts, I'm assuming his federal offense had to do with some sort of financial/property crime, considering they seized all his assets in forfeiture. I've never had the pleasure of serving time on federal supervision, but if it's anything like Idaho state, it wasn't exactly a walk in the park, to say the least.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:28 AM
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If working a few hours for a second store is, in a way, like being on call, so is the main job (and so are many jobs, as a matter of fact), because the employer can simply cut the employee's hours. However, it may happen in reality that both jobs together will add up to over 40 hours most of the time, thus satisfying the condition of being employed full time. If the number of hours is only slightly below sometimes, it's not as if it made sense to arrest him just because he worked a couple of hours less sometimes. Technically, both jobs could be deemed as, really, working for the same company, since it's the same store at different locations, thus being like one job, in a way.

Since there is a chance that the Parole Officer is looking for excuses for a violation in any case, if I were the original poster, I would try to work the hours, thus satisfying the condition of maintaining full time employment, the very condition that the Parole Officer is likely to invoke in issuing the violation. I would not rely on verbal instructions to work less if the written conditions say to work full time.

If the requirement to work less is stated in writing, that's different. I would not want to disregard specific instructions and risk being penalized for doing so. If the instructions were only verbal, it would be a "he said, she said" situation and I would go with what's written down, which is exactly what I would expect to be used in court (against me if I don't do what's required in writing, or in my favour if the judge bothers looking at the facts instead of basically rubber-stamping the Parole Officer's decision).

The problem is that even if a reasonable judge bothers noticing that the condition has been met, as the hours in the service of the same company do add up to full time hours, that would not prevent the arrest and some time in jail in the meantime. By the time this issue would be resolved, the jobs could be gone. But what solution is there? Does a solution even exist? I would still do the hours if I were in the original poster's situation.
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