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Suspended for not attending mandatory unpaid meeting Florida Florida

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  • Suspended for not attending mandatory unpaid meeting Florida Florida

    On Friday, I was told after I had finished closing by the manager on duty that I was good to leave so I clocked out. On my out of the store, a team leader approached me, telling me simply "don't leave" and would not elaborate when I asked why. I explained that I had to open the next day and left.

    After my shift on Saturday, I was informed by the general manager on duty that I would be suspended for this week due to the fact that I didn't stay afterwords for a "debriefing meeting" as it's called.

    They had started this thing called "huddle time" which is done at the beginning of my shift so everyone is on the same page but I had never been informed of any sort of meeting happening after work (and there has never been a mandatory meeting after work in the 8+ years I've worked there).

    So I'm curious if I can do anything about this. The fact that I was never informed about these meetings (it turns out that both of the new team leads are intimidated by me which is why they never bothered to inform me) and that fact that it is mandatory while off the clock seems sketchy. They have also made it a point to everyone that they HAVE to clock out before these meetings take place.

  • #2
    You have several unrelated issues.
    - Suspensions per se are legal.
    - And the employer can legally make you stay pretty much any hours the employer wants to.
    - The "clock" is legally a "who cares". If you are non-exempt (hours worked, MW, OT mean something legally), then you legally must be paid for all hours worked. This almost always includes meeting time. "Stopping the clock" changes nothing. Normally you would file a wage claim with state DOL for any unpaid wages. FL being FL does not actually enforce state law. Meaning you file a claim with federal DOL (MW/OT only) or a small claims court action. Your (only) issue is that you are not being paid for all hours worked.
    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.pdf
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Gotcha. Thank you.

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      • #4
        If they are telling everyone to clock out and come to the meeting, it does not necessarily follow that they are not paying you for the meeting time. If your timecard matches your paycheck exactly, and you attended these "off the clock" meetings then they are not paying you for meeting time. But maybe they are manually adding in 10 minutes for every attendee (or whatever the length of the meeting is), and by telling you to clock out before the meeting, they can add the same amount of time to everyone's pay. They aren't paying you each different amounts to walk back to the time clock and stand around as a group while everyone clocks out. Hope that makes sense.

        So until they actually don't pay you for the time you attended that meeting, there's no reason to file a wage claim. However, if you don't attend the meeting, you shouldn't be paid for it. And if it's a mandatory meeting (yes, even if they're scared to tell you that), you can be suspended or terminated for not attending it.

        it turns out that both of the new team leads are intimidated by me which is why they never bothered to inform me

        Ask your team leads if there's something you can do to prevent this from happening again. Maybe consider asking nicely if they are that intimidated.

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