Problems At Your Job

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not receiving at least 32 hours a week

When your employer signed the paperwork to bring you on the program, your employer verified to ERDT that he/she believed they could give you at least 32 hours of work per week.  IMPORTANT!  You do not have a contract with the employer.  The employer is not legally required to give you 32 hours per week.  But ERDT is ready to help you find a solution.  

Remember that it may take a week or two after your arrival for you to start receiving full time hours.  If you've been here 1-2 weeks and you're not receiving at least 32 hours per week, contact ERDT immediately.

My job (hours, wages and/or duties) does not match what was listed on my job offer. What should I do? 

1. Keep good records   Write down exactly what hours you work each day.

2. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor, soon    Bring your job offer to the meeting, and politely show your supervisor where your job is different from your job offer.  Tell him/her the change you would like to be made.  Remember - your supervisor is much more likely to help you if you have a pleasant attitude.

3. If this does not work, contact ERDT immediately   First, we will ask you for the details of your meeting with your supervisor.  You are an adult and part of the Work/Travel experience is learning how to communicate like an adult in the U.S workplace.  If you have done this and are still having problems, we will ask to see your list of what hours you have worked each day. Then, we will contact your employer.  Based on the discussion we have with your supervisor, we will talk to you about what your options are.

I have spent almost all of the money that I brought to the U.S. within my first 2 weeks!  How will I be able to live here all summer?

Remember that your first 2 weeks may be your most difficult weeks here.  You haven't begun a full schedule, you have had lots of arrival expenses, you haven't received your first paycheck, and you are probably suffering from jet lag, culture shock and language shock. 

You may begin the procedure for getting a 2nd job at any point.  But mostly, try to be patient and communicate your concerns honestly and openly to ERDT and to your employer.  Once you receive your first paycheck, everything will start to get better.  

My job is very tiring.  I'm not sure if I can do it all summer.  What do I do?

After you have worked at this job for at least 3 weeks, you may quit the job and find another.  ERDT requires you to work at the job for 3 weeks for a couple of reasons:

  1.  You must show ERDT that you intended to work at this job when you applied for a visa.  Otherwise, you and ERDT could be charged with visa fraud, a very serious crime, by the U.S. Government.
  2. The first day or two at a job is always difficult.  3 weeks is a good length of time for you to become mentally and physically familiar with the job, get over your jet lag and the stress of arrival, and then make a final decision about whether you can do this job.

If you have a sudden medical problem that prevents you from working at your assigned job for at least 3 weeks, you must get a note from a doctor in the U.S. before you quit.  In this case, or if you are fired you will be allowed to find a different job in the same city that meets with the doctor's requirements.  You must work at this new job for at least 3 weeks before you have the option of moving to a different area of the U.S.

What happens if I am fired from my job? 

You are an at-will employee and not under any contract.  This means that you may be fired at any time, except for in these situations:

  • You may not be fired for reporting an unsafe condition;
  • You may not be fired for being injured at work;
  • You may not be fired for reporting sexual harassment;
  • You may not be fired for reporting discrimination;
  • You may not be fired for refusing to do something illegal that your employer told you to do.

If you are fired because you did something illegal (such as stealing money or goods from your company) and the employer has proof of this, we will either end or terminate your visa, depending on how serious your crime was.

If you are fired because your employer has too many employees, ERDT will allow you to find a new job, and will assist you in your job search if you need help.  When you applied to come on the ERDT program, ERDT talked with your employer to find out their needs for the upcoming season, and how many students they expected they could employ for 32 hours a week.  However, sometimes employers' needs change and they cannot use all the employees they have hired.  ERDT will use this experience to determine whether to work with the employer the following year.

If you are fired for any other reason - for example, you're not performing the job well, you're showing up late, working too slowly - ERDT will allow you to find a new job, and will assist you in your job search if you need help.  If you're fired before you have been working there for 3 weeks, however, you will only be permitted to find a new job in the same town.