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Flat rate shop: dead time and minimum pay California

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  • Flat rate shop: dead time and minimum pay California

    I tried the search function but came up empty. If this has been discussed before I apologize . Sort of long so, please bear with me.

    I recently started working as an RV technician in a large dealership. They pay "flat rate" and all my previous employment in this field was straight hourly. It is my understanding that if a tech is required to supply his/her own tools that the wage has to be at least twice the state min wage.

    Next question has to do with dead/wait time. It was my understanding that when a tech wasn't clocked in on a specific task, they would be paid minimum wage, I am being told that time is not paid. "Time" is kept two separate ways. First is an electronic time clock used for just start time, lunch, out time. All specific minutes are time stamped on "Flags". So here is the scenario:
    tech shows up and clocks on. Then punches a flag showing the same time of day. Gets a work order for a task that is allotted 5.7 hours, and calls via radio for a porter to bring the unit to be worked on to his bay. Due to porters work flow it takes .8hr to move that unit into the techs bay.

    Question 1) since the tech was unable to perform the task, should the .8 be wait time?

    Then task is completed in 4.5hrs, I understand the tech is paid 5.7 Hrs. At flat rate pay. Now the tech has to wait .7hr for the next unit.

    If the tech doesn't start the next flag, the .7 hr is not paid.

    If there is any gap in the flag times, that gap is not paid time.

    Question 2) shouldn't any gaps in tasks be paid, even if at state minimum wage?

    I understand that no one here can give "legal" advise, I have tried to search the WWW for any type of clarification and only get some form to fill out, and then a phone call from an attorney that asks if I am currently employed. When I say yes they say they can't help, and good luck. I started working for the State of Ca in 1984 and retired in 2008, so I am not familiar with private sector as I should be. I am trying to correct that now and appreciate any responses

  • #2
    Chuck, I have handled flat rate techs in MA so I can't give CA specifics. Flat rate techs are paid by the job only. There is no wait time. As long as your wages for the week equal the state required minimum, it is legal. So the time spent waiting between cars or waiting for parts is not paid.

    Usually a flat rate tech makes a good hourly rate so there is no problem meeting the state minimums.