In these tough economic times, equine employers are under a lot of financial pressure. Even when the best financial practices are followed, it is easy for horse job employers to slip into cash flow problems without much warning. When employers who have horse jobs are looking around for ways to conserve cash, it is very tempting for some of them to delay paying their help. After all, the help is not likely to sue or cut off credit. It is also hard for people in horse jobs to object when the alternative is quitting.
It is very easy for people who have jobs with horses to feel sorry for their employer or sorry for the horses and fall into the trap of going along with late or reduced pay. This is a slippery slope upon which employees will quickly teach their employer that it is O.K. to take advantage of them. The best time to handle this problem is the moment it first occurs. Employees are NOT creditors. The vet, the farrier and the feed company might be extending credit, but people in horse jobs should avoid extending credit to employers at all costs.
When your employer comes to you to explain why your pay needs to be delayed or reduced, be ready in advance to state your position. No matter what your employer tells you, your job is on the line and you must be ready to make quick and effective decisions to protect yourself. You will be the best judge of how to proceed in your individual situation, but don’t go along with your employer just on the hope that things will be better tomorrow, and don’t be complacent about your situation.
In most situations where an employer asks you to take a pay cut, or a delay in being paid, the financial situation is not going to get better quickly. Your best alternative may be to go along temporarily, but immediately start looking for a new job. If things turn around, you don’t have to take a new job. Going along temporarily may not mean staying silent. You may wish to say to your employer that you cannot afford to extend credit to him/her, that you have bills to pay too. You may wish to indicate a specific length of time that you will accept the new arrangement. Use your judgment in your individual situation, but don’t put your head in the sand and just hope things will get better.