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  • Time Card issues for "Salary Exempt" California

    This morning the president of my company, upon reviewing my time card, told me I was not allowed to put the actual hours that I worked in a work week and to only sign that I worked 40 hours. I actually worked 60.5 hours, keeping track/records of my own, and only submitted a collective time card showing numbers of hours worked each day. I am a salary paid employee, assuming that I'm exempt since I don't rate or get paid any overtime. I am an administrative assistant, and do not supervise anyone.

    I recently, all employees as well, took a 10% pay cut, and was told in an office staff meeting that I must work the number of hours necessary to complete my job description, even if it's above and beyond a 40 hour work week. My job description is now convoluted as I recently moved departments, but I'm still performing tasks from my old department.

    He was adamant about it, and was visibly upset that I wrote on my time card my actual hours worked. We also sign the time card when we submit it that states "I certify that these hours accurately reflect the hours I worked, that I was afforded my meal and rest periods, and that I did not incur a work-related injury during this time period."

    I don't feel comfortable signing my time card if it doesn't reflect my actual hours worked. Why should it matter to the president if I put the real hours on there?

  • #2
    I have no idea. If your position qualifies for exempt status, then it doesn't matter anyway. The question I have is whether your position actually meets the necessary criteria to be exempt.

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    • #3
      Agreed. Review the duties criteria here. Are you making at least $600 per week?
      http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/comp...nistrative.pdf

      In any case, you can keep those records at home. If it comes to having to file a claim for unpaid overtime because you have been misclassified as exempt, you will have those records. Also, make a note of who told you, and when they told you, to report 40 hours only.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        unmei79, we were posting at the same time. See the link above.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Agreed with the other answers, but with a suggestion. Any employee can be Non-Exempt but not all employees can (legally) be Exempt. At best "Exempt" is just the employer's opinion. There is nothing that stops any employee from keeping an accurate time accounting at home, just in case. Paper records such as a notebook work great, especially in court.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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          • #6
            According to the fact sheet:

            -I meet the compensation salary requirement of not less than $455/week
            -My Primary Duty is the performance of office or non-manual tasks directly related to the general business operations of the employer (I regularly work in marketing, insurance, budgeting, research, government relations, and accounting)
            -My Primary Duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance (I carry out major assignments in conducting the operations of the business / performs work that affects business operations to a substantial degree).

            The 3rd one could be in the "eye of the beholder" but for the most part, true.

            So if I meet the exempt status, then technically I shouldn't have to be concerned with the number of hours I report. Is there any other reason, workers compensation or otherwise, that the president should be concerned about reporting the correct number of hours?

            And if I only report the 40 and sign the time card with the statement on it about it being actual hours and turn it in, will that affect me getting compensated if my status does come to be found as non-exempt? Should I not sign the statement?

            Thanks in advance for your info.

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            • #7
              The California minimum salary for exempt employees in your position is $600 per week. Federal is $455; I just provided that link because it is, in all basic respects except for salary, the same as California and I already had it bookmarked.

              If you feel comfortable with exempt status, you report on your time sheet whatever your employer requires that you report. You aren't eligible for overtime pay anyway. I still recommend you keep your own records, though, just in case. Signing a time sheet that says the hours are accurate would not prevent you from filing a claim later on; in other words, the employer cannot make you waive your rights to overtime pay if, in fact, it turns out you are owed it.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                So just now, I was told privately that my status does not meet the third requirement regarding judgement, etc.

                I do still meet the $600/week CA min.

                I might be requested to alter my previous timecards, is that legal?

                Last year, on salary, I didn't consistently work 40 hours over a period of 6-7 months (37hrs to be exact) and was still paid salary 40 hours. These last two months, I've consistently worked 57hrs. Is my employer going to call it even or are we able to agree to call it even and it effect or not effect my rights to a claim?

                This stuff is so baffling...

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                • #9
                  Then if you don't meet all the duties tests, your salary amount is irrelevant. It's not a OR b OR c, and then salary. It's a AND b AND c, and THEN salary.

                  What the employer has done in the past is really irrelevant to overtime actually worked. Each workweek stands alone. Now, if the employer really wanted to go to all this trouble, I guess he could do a reconciliation of the amoun for hours paid but not worked and offset those against the overtime pay due. You might want to do this calculation first and see what the net effect is. Then we can provide an opinion as to what your next step might be.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                    The California minimum salary for exempt employees in your position is $600 per week.
                    $640/week actually ($8/hr times 40 * 2).
                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DAW View Post
                      $640/week actually ($8/hr times 40 * 2).
                      Whoops. I knew that.
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        I could definitely say now that I've worked more hours over 40 in the last 3 months, averaging 18 hrs over 40 a week, than for the avg 3 hrs I was paid for not working the full 40 last year. I have 138 hrs of overtime that I have not been paid, and I'm technically a non-exempt salaried employee. The president admitted that I'm non-exempt verbally, but it's not in writing anywhere, and when they made me a salaried employee they did not putting anything in writing either regarding exempt or non-exempt. There is no information on my paystub showing status with regard to exempt status, there is no information about accrued PTO vacation or sick pay either. Is there a requirement that this information be displayed, or do I have to ask for this information periodically? What can I do now? I don't want to lose my job, but I don't want to keep getting screwed!

                        Thanks,

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                        • #13
                          Neither your classification as exempt/nonexempt nor PTO/sick balances are required to be displayed on your paycheck.

                          At this point, I recommend you file a wage claim with the DLSE and let them make the determination. Retaliating against you for doing so is a violation of law in California.
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Unmei79 View Post
                            ... There is no information on my paystub showing status with regard to exempt status, there is no information about accrued PTO vacation or sick pay either. Is there a requirement that this information be displayed, or do I have to ask for this information periodically? What can I do now? I don't want to lose my job, but I don't want to keep getting screwed!
                            You have several different issues:
                            - The law does not require that these things be put on the paystub. I can include a website that discusses exactly what is legally required to be on a CA paystub. See question #8
                            http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Paydays.htm
                            - You do have a legal right to periodically examine your CA personnel file.
                            http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Right...onnelFiles.htm
                            - CA has a factsheet discussing the vacation rules. Interestingly providing balance and related information does not seem to be one of the direct requirements. There are no CA sick pay rules per se.
                            http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Vacation.htm

                            Past that there are no sure things. If your employee owes you money, and based on what you have said, they do, then you can file a wage claim. However you apparently want someone on this website to guarentee that your employer will not get mad and that your job will not be at risk if you talk to your employer or file a wage claim. At the risk of stating the very obvious, no one on this website can predict what your employer will do. You can talk to a local attorney first. A termination because you file a wage claim has certain legal recourse. However the employer can always claim to terminate you for a different legal. In fact, if you never, ever do anything to rock the boat or offend your employer in any way, you can still be terminated ((Employment At Will).

                            There are no sure things. If you do nothing else, keep track of your hours at home. Pen and paper not using company equipment in any fashion. If for some reason you leave this employer, then you have no reason to not file a wage claim. Past that you either file a wage claim or you do not, you talk to a local attorney or not, and your employer does what ever they do or not. No sure things.
                            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                            • #15
                              Thank you all for your input... I know i'm an at will employee... I guess i just need to start pen and papering all my timecards instead of keeping them in excel on my work computer... if i did file a wage claim now while still employed, i know they will still let me go, because "work is slow," and they'll claim it's not retaliation regardless... Is there a time limit for filing a wage claim?
                              Last edited by Unmei79; 04-26-2009, 09:16 PM. Reason: re-phrasing...

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