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Mechanics and OT Massachusetts

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  • Mechanics and OT Massachusetts

    I read that dealerships are not required to pay OT to the mechanics in Massachusetts. Why is that? I am assuming it is because dealership techs are paid flatrate? I work in a dealership that only pays straight time but they constantly request us to stay late to work. We get no other compensation or incentive to stay. Any info you could give me regarding this exempt status from Ot would help me better understand it.

    Thank-you
    Dace
    Last edited by HeyDace; 07-11-2006, 06:51 PM.

  • #2
    Ok. Seems as if no one wants to touch this. I have been doing my own research into the matter and have found no MGL. exempting mechanics (other than public trans companies) from OT compensation. I have learned that Mechanics are catorgorized as blue collar, as defined by the MGL. and are covered under the FLSA.
    The company that employs me is a finance company DBA dealership. They own 6 dealerships and several hotels. I'm wondering if maybe we are misclassified as employees of a finance company rather than employees of the dealership, because our checks have the name of the finance company not the dealership we work for.

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    • #3
      Our moderator is quite knowledgeable about MA law, being from there, but I don't think this industry is one of her areas of expertise. We do have an employment attorney from MA who also posts here, but he hasn't been around in a few days. This response will bump up your post.
      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
        I normally lurk as I am not as knowledgable as other posters.

        However I work as a HR Mgr in a MA car dealership.

        Techs are exempt from OT under MGL 151 1A(15) which is the garageman exemption. The techs can be at a dealership or a stand-alone repair shop. The federal exemption is 29 U.S.C. 213(b)(10)(A) mechanic exemption.

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        • #5
          Thank you, HRinMA. Patty is correct that I know very little about your industry, so I'm glad to have you aboard!
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            M.G.L. c. 151, §1A (15) exempts from the overtime provision those employed “as a garageman.” In an Opinion of the Division of Occupational Safety (the agency charged with interpreting the overtime statutes) dated April 30, 2002, Legal Counsel to the DOS stated that, “looking to the plain meaning” of garageman, the DOS would “consider any worker performing repair work on automobiles … to be exempt from overtime.” The DOS went on to find that “this exemption does not extend to persons employed by car dealerships in other capacities such as service counter help or receptionists.” See Opinion Letter MW-2002-014 (dated April 30, 2002).

            M.G.L. c. 151, §1A (13) also exempts out those who work in gasoline stations.


            29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(10)(A) exempts from the overtime requirements the following individuals: “Any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements, if he is employed by a nonmanufacturing establishment primarily engaged in the business of selling such vehicles or implements to ultimate purchasers.”


            Sorry I missed your earlier post.

            Hope that helps.
            This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

            This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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            • #7
              By the way, if you can show that you're more of a salesman than mechanic (like people who work the counters selling tires, batteries, brakes, etc. to customers), you may be able to get overtime under MA law, by exempting yourself from the "garagemen" definition.

              Also, keep in mind that the Federal exemption only applies to those who work in car dealership type settings (its worth a careful read), and not to those in the auto shop type settings. Although this is hotly debated, it may be worth it for you to call the DOL or an attorney who specializes in the wage regulations.

              I'm supposed to be out on trial all next week, but I'll do my best to check back to see if you have further questions.

              Nice to meet you HRinMA. Looking forward to working with you.

              Phil
              This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

              This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

              Comment


              • #8
                Your kidding, I was under the impression that a garageman was an attendant or valet (parking lot attendant) in a parking garage and not a skilled laboror (mechanic). Having worked as a mechanic for 30 years this is the first time I've been exempt from OT (I've always worked retail).

                "By the way, if you can show that you're more of a salesman than mechanic (like people who work the counters selling tires, batteries, brakes, etc. to customers), you may be able to get overtime under MA law, by exempting yourself from the "garagemen" definition."

                My service manager sells the job but I do the diagnostics, make recomendations and do the final repair. I am employed as a service technician. In most service garages the technician does not speak to the customer.
                Doesn't hardly seem fair that the service writer can get compensation for OT but the mechanic gets the shaft.

                Would anyone have any info on this hot debate over OT? I would be interested in learning more. By the way, this is a great forum and I've learned a lot.

                Dace

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