Question: Who "owns" the weekend for an individual? The employee or the employer?
This is a serious question in our line of work, where significant overtime (more often than not unpaid) is a harsh reality.
I'm in various conversations with some folks about this. This is at the heart of a lot of contention in the CG and entertainment medium industry as it matures. The highly publicized squabbles between EA and it's employees (along with the resulting fallout) and the IDGA's recent focus on quality of life within the gaming industry are starting to draw this friction to a point. To get to the bottom of it I've settled on this notion of "time property".
Each human being has an alloted number of hours in life. Who's time is it to use? Who has the right to decide how and when and how much of it to use in what manner? Namely, who is the rightful owner of your minutes, hours, days, weeks, years? You? Or your employer? Both? Let's say you state that the employer owns a certain percentage of your time because they are "buying" it with your salary. OK, fair enough. Then who decides how much is included in the purchase? The buyer or the seller?
If the weekends (and evenings) are considered the "property" of the employee, then the employer cannot demand use of it without permission. (using anybody else's property by force without permission is called robbery- stealing.) But if it is the employers' property then the employer can rightfully demand to use any time they wish of the employee and the employee cannot rightfully complain about that at all. I have no personal right to dictate how another man uses his property.
It's an interesting conversation with deep, deep implications- not only for our industry but for all of American society. Am I being too broad? Read this and you decide.