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  • A labor law question

    Hello. I work as a low-level manager for a department of a major
    Massachusetts university. Part of my job (and that of lots of other
    people who work with me) involves hiring hourly, temporary workers for
    short term projects. A recent overall of the university payroll
    system has created a situation (hard for me to understand the details
    of) where it's nearly impossible to get someone paid until a least two
    months after they've worked. Apparently, everyone has to be put into
    this system, which has a huge backlog, and then they can be paid.
    Folks put into the system "expire" after a couple of months so they
    have to redo their I-9's, etc and wait several weeks again if you hire
    them again a couple fo months later.

    My question is: is this legal? I ask because I'd like the university
    HR to clean up their act, as it's totally humiliating and wrong to
    have to defend this clearly screwed up system to people I've hired.
    But there's a huge beauracracy associated with a large university and
    hard to change things or assign blame. There is a somewhat powerful
    union here, that occasionally takes up causes for temporary workers,
    but not often. But I wondered if there is a law anywhere that says
    you have to be paid for work that you do within a certain time frame?
    Or anything else that applies? Any advice is appreciated, thanks
    dina

  • #2
    A labor law question


    "dina" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected] om...
    Hello. I work as a low-level manager for a department of a major Massachusetts university. Part of my job (and that of lots of other people who work with me) involves hiring hourly, temporary workers for short term projects. A recent overall of the university payroll system has created a situation (hard for me to understand the details of) where it's nearly impossible to get someone paid until a least two months after they've worked. Apparently, everyone has to be put into this system, which has a huge backlog, and then they can be paid. Folks put into the system "expire" after a couple of months so they have to redo their I-9's, etc and wait several weeks again if you hire them again a couple fo months later. My question is: is this legal? I ask because I'd like the university HR to clean up their act, as it's totally humiliating and wrong to have to defend this clearly screwed up system to people I've hired. But there's a huge beauracracy associated with a large university and hard to change things or assign blame. There is a somewhat powerful union here, that occasionally takes up causes for temporary workers, but not often. But I wondered if there is a law anywhere that says you have to be paid for work that you do within a certain time frame? Or anything else that applies? Any advice is appreciated, thanks dina
    This is not legal advice, just an opinion.

    My understanding of federal laws is that you have to pay within two weeks.
    This was changed years ago because at the time the law only said you had to
    be paid, but not when.
    It could be that there are exemptions that apply to universities.
    You'd have to check with your local "wage and hour division" to get the
    actual skinny on the law.
    You might also want to bring this matter up to the school board and let them
    know about the pitfalls of the system.
    Would you want to wait for 3 months for a paycheck and bust your *** off in
    the mean time?



    Comment


    • #3
      A labor law question

      On 8 Jul 2003 11:52:59 -0700, [email protected] (dina) wrote:
      Hello. I work as a low-level manager for a department of a majorMassachusetts university. Part of my job (and that of lots of otherpeople who work with me) involves hiring hourly, temporary workers forshort term projects. A recent overall of the university payrollsystem has created a situation (hard for me to understand the detailsof) where it's nearly impossible to get someone paid until a least twomonths after they've worked. Apparently, everyone has to be put intothis system, which has a huge backlog, and then they can be paid.Folks put into the system "expire" after a couple of months so theyhave to redo their I-9's, etc and wait several weeks again if you hirethem again a couple fo months later.My question is: is this legal?
      State law:

      "Employers must pay their employees within six days of the end of the
      pay period during which the wages were earned if the individual was
      employed for five or six days during the pay period."

      http://www.ago.state.ma.us/labor/que...ges&head3=FAQs

      See also:

      "Every person having employees in his service shall pay weekly or
      bi-weekly each such employee the wages earned by him to within six
      days of the termination of the pay period during which the wages were
      earned if employed for five or six days in a calendar week."

      http://www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/149-148.htm

      and

      "Whoever violates this section shall be punished or shall be subject
      to a civil citation or order as provided in section 27C."

      Id.

      Federal law:

      "The FLSA requires that an employer pay each employee a minimum wage
      set by the Act. 29 U.S.C. 206. Section 206(b) mandates that 'every
      employer shall pay' employees the minimum wage if 'in any workweek
      [the employee] is engaged in commerce.'"

      Biggs v. Wilson, 1 F.3d 1537, 1539 (9th Cir. 1993).

      "We therefore hold that state officials' failure to issue the class's
      paychecks promptly when due violates the FLSA. Paychecks are due on
      payday. After that, the minimum wage is 'unpaid.'"

      Id. at 1544.

      ------------------------------
      Bob Stock, California Attorney
      Nothing I've said should be relied on as legal advice.
      ------------------------------

      Comment


      • #4
        A labor law question


        "Bob Stock" <[email protected]> wrote in message
        news:[email protected]
        On 8 Jul 2003 11:52:59 -0700, [email protected] (dina) wrote:
        Hello. I work as a low-level manager for a department of a majorMassachusetts university. Part of my job (and that of lots of otherpeople who work with me) involves hiring hourly, temporary workers forshort term projects. A recent overall of the university payrollsystem has created a situation (hard for me to understand the detailsof) where it's nearly impossible to get someone paid until a least twomonths after they've worked. Apparently, everyone has to be put intothis system, which has a huge backlog, and then they can be paid.Folks put into the system "expire" after a couple of months so theyhave to redo their I-9's, etc and wait several weeks again if you hirethem again a couple fo months later.My question is: is this legal?
        State law: "Employers must pay their employees within six days of the end of the pay period during which the wages were earned if the individual was employed for five or six days during the pay period."
        http://www.ago.state.ma.us/labor/que...ment+of+Wages&
        head3=FAQs
        See also: "Every person having employees in his service shall pay weekly or bi-weekly each such employee the wages earned by him to within six days of the termination of the pay period during which the wages were earned if employed for five or six days in a calendar week." http://www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/149-148.htm and "Whoever violates this section shall be punished or shall be subject to a civil citation or order as provided in section 27C." Id. Federal law: "The FLSA requires that an employer pay each employee a minimum wage set by the Act. 29 U.S.C. 206. Section 206(b) mandates that 'every employer shall pay' employees the minimum wage if 'in any workweek [the employee] is engaged in commerce.'" Biggs v. Wilson, 1 F.3d 1537, 1539 (9th Cir. 1993). "We therefore hold that state officials' failure to issue the class's paychecks promptly when due violates the FLSA. Paychecks are due on payday. After that, the minimum wage is 'unpaid.'" Id. at 1544. ------------------------------ Bob Stock, California Attorney Nothing I've said should be relied on as legal advice. ------------------------------


        Can we say "Ruh roh looks like somebody's gonna get fried"?
        Alas poor yorik, if this school is a state institution, then trying to get
        the school to conform to state law is like fighting windmills. After all,
        state institutions do as they **** well please.



        Comment


        • #5
          A labor law question

          Richard wrote:
          "Bob Stock" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
          On 8 Jul 2003 11:52:59 -0700, [email protected] (dina) wrote:
          Hello. I work as a low-level manager for a department of a majorMassachusetts university. Part of my job (and that of lots of otherpeople who work with me) involves hiring hourly, temporary workers forshort term projects. A recent overall of the university payrollsystem has created a situation (hard for me to understand the detailsof) where it's nearly impossible to get someone paid until a least twomonths after they've worked. Apparently, everyone has to be put intothis system, which has a huge backlog, and then they can be paid.Folks put into the system "expire" after a couple of months so theyhave to redo their I-9's, etc and wait several weeks again if you hirethem again a couple fo months later.My question is: is this legal?
          State law:"Employers must pay their employees within six days of the end of thepay period during which the wages were earned if the individual wasemployed for five or six days during the pay period."
          http://www.ago.state.ma.us/labor/que...ment+of+Wages& head3=FAQs
          See also:"Every person having employees in his service shall pay weekly orbi-weekly each such employee the wages earned by him to within sixdays of the termination of the pay period during which the wages wereearned if employed for five or six days in a calendar week."http://www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/149-148.htmand"Whoever violates this section shall be punished or shall be subjectto a civil citation or order as provided in section 27C."Id.Federal law:"The FLSA requires that an employer pay each employee a minimum wageset by the Act. 29 U.S.C. 206. Section 206(b) mandates that 'everyemployer shall pay' employees the minimum wage if 'in any workweek[the employee] is engaged in commerce.'"Biggs v. Wilson, 1 F.3d 1537, 1539 (9th Cir. 1993)."We therefore hold that state officials' failure to issue the class'spaychecks promptly when due violates the FLSA. Paychecks are due onpayday. After that, the minimum wage is 'unpaid.'"Id. at 1544.------------------------------Bob Stock, California AttorneyNothing I've said should be relied on as legal advice.------------------------------
          Can we say "Ruh roh looks like somebody's gonna get fried"? Alas poor yorik, if this school is a state institution, then trying to get the school to conform to state law is like fighting windmills. After all, state institutions do as they **** well please.
          As someone who's suffered this elsewhere, I'd have to ask: do these
          people qualify as "employees" under these statutes?

          He says "hourly, temporary workers for short-time projects"; wouldn't
          those qualify as contract workers, who are not covered by these niceties?

          Just wondered, as it is not at all unusual for one particular law school
          to take at least a month to pay me, even though my written
          (signed-by-them) contract for services and invoices say within 5 days of
          invoice.

          --
          DE
          mailto:[email protected]

          Comment

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