I work at an animal hospital in the State of Nevada. We are closed on Sundays and one of the technicians are asked to come in on Sunday and medicate any animals that are staying. Sometimes it only takes us 5 minutes. Is is legal for my job to only pay us for the 5 minutes? Especially when it cost us more money in gas to get to and from work that what we get paid for in that short amount of time.
10-07-2007, 06:46 PM
What you describe is legal under federal law (assuming Non-Exempt employees). I do not know what rules (if any) Nevada has on this subject. Perhaps one of the other responders do.
10-08-2007, 06:16 AM
Nevada does not have a minimum reporting pay requirement. So no, no additional pay is required. And actually, if the employer was utilizing the rounding rules as defined in the FLSA, they wouldn't even have to pay you for a 5-minute work period (can round to the nearest quarter-hour, as long as it is done consistently).
Having said all that, I'm a real animal lover, so thanks for taking care of the sick and injured pets.
10-08-2007, 06:39 AM
What is there to figure out? The state does not have a minimum reporting pay requirement. Each work period stands alone when it comes to the FLSA.
But, OP, I would never discourage a poster from contacting an attorney. I just don't see much of a case here.
I don't disagree, however, that this is something that could be brought up to the employer. There is a fairness doctrine, after all. Maybe he'll compromise to pay, say a minimum of 1 hour, to compensate you for your travel time. You know your employer better than we do.
10-08-2007, 09:58 AM
Refusing to do the work unless you are paid more than what is required by law is a grand way to find yourself unemployed. The employees do not get to dictate what the policies should be over and above what the law requires. They certainly can ask the employer if they are willing to pay a minimum amount for these Sunday visits, and certainly it can not hurt to gain the support of the other employees as well, but to simply refuse to work until the employer agrees to pay for 55 minutes of work, or worse two hours of work, not performed is completely unreasonable. Talk about a way to tick off the employer even if they do agree to the demand.
We aren't talking about a large manufacturer with a union contract that they agreed to here. We are talking about a small animal hospital with limited staff and a need that is without question. If it only takes 5 minutes, this can't be a very big place.
10-08-2007, 10:36 AM
How is paying them for time worked ripping them off? Under your theory employees could just get together and demand anything they want and if the employer doesn't cave, decide not to work at all and not get fired. When it comes to medicating sick animals, I find this selfish attitude appalling. Sometimes employee requests are not reasonable or feasible. We don't know that the employer will refuse to agree to a minimum number of hours. But going in on the offensive loaded for bear is not a very strategic move in a small non-union setting and is likely to just put the owner/doctor on the defensive.
In reality, I would find it a much better and more productive approach to simply talk to the owner and explain that because of the time it takes to drive to the clinic and the nature of the work which can take an unspecified amount of time, would they consider paying a minimum of one hour's wages for the Sunday visits. No ganging up with a signed agreement in hand and threatening to cease work if the owner doesn't agree. That would be a last resort in my mind and for something way more important than 5 minutes and $10 once every few weeks. You get more flies with honey and you really need to pick your battles and I've used too many cliches as it is.
10-08-2007, 11:07 AM
and I've used too many cliches as it is.
10-08-2007, 11:56 AM
How about not making assumptions about an employer you know nothing about except that he pays his employees according to the law? You might think it more fair to err on the side of generosity but it isn't a legal requirement and there is nothing that indicates this employer is in any way abusive. It doesn't sound like employees are always required to come in for only five minutes but that sometimes happens. Why assume the worst? Perhaps whoever makes the rule isn't the one who cuts the paychecks and isn't even aware of the situation. My sisters in law worked for a veterinary hospital and were the ones who went in on weekends and holidays to feed, walk and medicate any boarded animals. The vets who owned the facility were not the ones signing off on timesheets or even assigning who came in what days. That was left to an office manager.
Clearly you have not had a pet if you find it acceptable to skip out on carrying for the animals in your custody because the owner will not pay you for more time than you work.
10-08-2007, 01:30 PM
Point me to one law that says the employer in Nevada must compensate employees for more than the time that they work. Not whether or not you think they should do so, but where it is required. That is what was asked and answered.
There is no point in even addressing the rest of your wild accusations.
10-08-2007, 02:17 PM
And I think this has gone far enough.
10-08-2007, 02:52 PM
And I think this has gone far enough.
Yep, I gave up on this one at 8:39 this morning. :)
10-08-2007, 06:59 PM
Which is still not the answer to the question the OP asked.
10-08-2007, 07:18 PM
Nope, not at all.
10-08-2007, 09:44 PM
I appreciate everyone's help on the matter. By the way this hospital is owned by a corporation, they really aren't going to lose that much money by paying us for the hour. We have approached our manager and she blew us off saying that it was a ridiculous request. By the way, these pets are usually boarders. If they were "severly sick" animals in need of medical attention then it would take more than 5 minutes to medicate and give them proper care. We do have people who come in on Sundays to walk and feed the animals but they are not trusted to medicate the animals so that is why some of us are required to do so. I just wanted to see if there was a law against it. I have not refused to not work because of it I just wanted to see if there was anything I could show my employer.
10-09-2007, 06:21 AM
So, as stated by DAW on Sunday morning, and my agreement on Monday morning, and ElleMDs following, you now have your answer. All the rest of that was merely posturing. :)
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