I want to see if anyone else has had an experience like this, and what advice you have. I started a contract job at Harvard Business School on Nov 11th. I'm working for two professors whom I really like. The job is fun, I like the people I work with, and I'm having a great time. The only problem is the pay, specifically in what year I will officially be paid. When I started, due to some politics, I wasn't "officially there," they had to wait for the dust to clear before making me offical; but they also needed me to get to work right away. Two weeks later I got my contact. The contract had the date two weeks after I really started (the date was Nov 25th). Knowing how slow Harvard moves, I signed the contract and we figured I'd just submit an invoice for the back pay. The invoice got submitted at the end of November. As of today, I still have not been paid. The other contractor got one check for the first two "missing weeks." We're supposed to be on the payroll starting today "or maybe in another two weeks." Despite them owing me quite a lot of money, that's not my biggest concern. My big concern is that they will put all my pay on a 2003 1099; none of it will be on my 2002 1099. This has both tax, and retirement savings implications for me. I would do better if they pay for last year was credited for last year. According to the HR person, because they recived my invoice shortly before Harvard shut down at the end of Dec (they were closed for 2 weeks straight), they didn't get it taken care of on time, so it won't be on my 2002 1099 and "there's not a damn thing that can be done about it." What gets to me is that we were originally told we'd be getting either weekly or monthly checks, and no delay was mentioned. Then, a few weeks later, were were told we needed to send an invoice for only the first two weeks. Last week I found we needed to send an invoice for every week worked. Normally I would simply walk off the project, but here's what makes this tricky. I like the professors I work for. They're very nice guys, and are willing to bend over backwards for us (e.g. seeing the delays, they offered to give us personal 0% interest loans until we got paid). That they gave me incorrect information (and took a while to get it to me) is only because the HR women who deals with this is never around, and didn't give them the info early on (e.g. that we needed an invoice for every week). If I walk out, it won't effect HBS at all. The pilot project we're doing will simply be canceled, and life goes on; HBS will continue to attract top students and maintain a great reputation. The professors, on the other hand, would be hurt. They have invested their time, reputations, and political capital into this. If I walk, it will likely die, and they will have lost their investment. I don't want to do that to them. Basically, I just want HBS to credit me for the work I did last year, on my 2002 1099. I don't even care when I get the check (even if it takes another month or two). Any thoughts or ideas? My best thought is to simply start calling up the chain of command up to the university president (that actually works at MIT). Anyone have to deal with this at a different company? Any relevant laws (like after Jan 31, when 1099's are due to be sent out, it's set in stone)? --Mark [ January 24, 2003: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Mark Herschberg, author of The Career Toolkit
According to the tax law, the 1099 must reflect when you are paid, not when the money is earned. Since you have not been paid yet, it would be illegal for them to give you a 1099 reflecting that they paid you in 2002. The person who said that there isn't a damn thing they can do about it is correct.
Would you mind sharing what this project at the Harvard Business School is about? Does the project need more people to work on? And what credentials a person possesses would be suitable for the project?
I'm developing a trading application simulation for a class. There are two pieces to this. First, there's a regular trading system (e.g. buy and sell stocks). It looks and feels just like a regular trading system. In fact it is a "real" system except for two key features: no real security, and no real failure safeguards. This is play money, so it's not worth the effort to put in the protections. Second, there's a market simulation piece. Current systems either have no grounding, or are tied to the current market. In the first case, students trade only against each other, so if they greatly overprice a stock, they don't get penalized for it. In the latter case, becuase you're trading play money against the real market, you have no effect on the market (plus, the teachers can't control it either). In our software, we have computer trades who act like "the rest of the market." This allows us to recreate controlled market conditions, and allow students to potnetially effect those conditions; e.g. students can overvalue a stock, but eventually the computer traders will undercut them and the student will lose money. Credentials necessary for this project: good software engineering skills, intelligence. That's it; no other special skills were required (no prior financial knowledge was necessary). We don't need more people at this time, although you can be sure that if we do, JavaRanch is one of the first places I'll look. --Mark