Talk:Retroactive Vacation Credit

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Questions for consideration:

Q: What should we do with the back hours "earned" up to this point? At what point do we want to say that we started accumulating sick and vacation hours?

Q: We may not be able to give ourselves vacation and sick hours for years previous to 2003 without affecting back taxes, so we might have to work out another way to distribute them. How?

Q: Oso, Richard, and Laurel each have in the neighborhood of 200 hours total (assuming we go all the way back). If each of us took six weeks off, that time would be eaten up. Marlin and Rick have accumulated less hours, but also work less per week, so they too would have about six weeks coming. We obviously can't afford to do this all at the same time (or maybe not even at all), even if we want to. Can we consider some kind of partial credit? Can we spread out the time off in little pieces over a whole year? (One week every two months == six weeks in one year.)

Here's a series of proposals to think about that should address most of the issues above.

1. We give vacation hours retroactively to everyone in the collective for all hours worked on Free Geek's payroll, whether directly or through Anarchy Software. (Implementation suggestions below.)

[An alternative to number 1 is to give half hours or some other fraction for the time worked in the Anarchy Software era.]

2. At this point, if workers have accumulated "too much" time, we can split it in half, and require half the time to be taken in this calendar year or else be lost. The balance would have to be taken by the end of 2005 or lost. The original Anarchy Software employees all have in excess of 5 weeks due at this point. Everyone else has accumulated less than 2 weeks, so we might draw the line between "just right" and "too much" at five weeks accumulated. The point of this would be to spread out the vacation time so that the effect on the schedule would be minimized. Also to encourage people to take their time off for general reasons of sanity.

Now the question "We may not be able to give ourselves vacation and sick hours for years previous to 2003 without affecting back taxes, so we might have to work out another way to distribute them. How?"

I am not a tax attorney, but my common sense says that vacation isn't money (unless you're on a plan where you cash out at some point). If we give the original five workers vacation credit for time worked in 2000-2002, we're giving it to them now. That means they're only being taxed on the money they're receiving this year and no back taxes are actually owed. In other words, I think this is a red herring and we shouldn't worry too much about it. But we should run it by someone who knows this stuff before acting upon it.

An couple of examples might make it easier to understand. Let's say we go with proposals 1 and 2 above as stated.

At the end of 2003, Oso had accumulated 204 hours of vacation (about 6.4 weeks). If he takes off four weeks this year, his salary would be the same as if he didn't take the time off. The only difference was how much he had to work to earn that money.

Vagrant has 36.3 hours coming to him right now. By the time he quits at the end of May, it will be in the neighborhood of 47.5 hours (or about 2 weeks). In that case, he gets paid for about two weeks of work when he leaves. That's money he owes taxes on, but for this year, not for last year.

Now maybe a tax accountant will tell us that we owe taxes on the money we'll eventually (someday maybe) get in the year we accrued the hours, not the year we get paid for them. In that event, it seems we could (temporarily) give the workers who are owed back time a larger fraction for calculating this year's vacation time to make up the difference. Again, we shouldn't get too far into this unless we learn that it really is a problem.