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  • piece rate in NY, per employee or entire organization New York

    I would like implement a piece work system. I would like to know if it needs to be a department wide action or if it can based on individual workers. If I can guarantee to abide by minimum wage and OT regulations, is there anything I need to be concerned about in the state of NY? I could not find any documentation on plans in the ny dol site. Thanks

  • #2
    You have two different issues.
    - Piece work can be legal. Just make sure that you follow the minimum wage and overtime rules.
    - The other issue however is discrimination. Example. Ted is a White Sox fan and Alice is a Cubs fans. I can legally discriminate against Alice because she is a Cubs fan, but not because she is a woman (Title VII). If I choose to discriminate against Alice, which reason do you think she is going to claim? I am not saying that piece work for some employees and not others is inherently illegal (it is not), but the reason I am only applying it to some workers and not others might be. I would want a legal well documented reason for my discriminatory action, just in case.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      I have 4 technicians. All hourly, but the one that makes the most produces the least. The other three are in the range of of their labor cost being 25-30% of of the product price. I am great with that. On the other hand, the tech that is lagging and receives the highest compensation has a labor cost of 52% of the what we sell that part for. He is the one I am thinking about putting on a piece work system to even out costs and motivate him to work harder.
      Would that be a good enough reason if documented thoroughly?

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      • #4
        Maybe, but it would make more sense to put ALL related employees on EXACTLY the same compensation plan. Then, assuming what you say is correct, all four employees will be compensated based on measurable performance.

        If you pick out one and only one employee for this new compensation plan, that employee can claim that they are being picked out for a discriminatory action for an illegal reason, say a Title VII reason. Arguably your stated reason for your action is not well tied to the supposed "solution". I am not saying that the employee will win. But I am saying that your solution is maybe opening doors unnecessarily.

        -----

        Also, this assumes that you have taken a sufficiently hard look at the situation. Example. Accounts Payable generally reports to me. I worked at one place where I had maybe 6 staff in AP reporting to me through an AP supervisor. My boss, who was fond of metrics, put together a spreadsheet showing that my junior, less expensive staff processed more invoices per month then my more senior staff. Which was correct. What he left out was that workload was structured so that junior staff pushed as many easy invoices as possible, while all "hard" transactions were handled by someone who knew what they were doing. And senior staff also handled all check and direct deposit payments, fed wires, foreign currency and other bank activity. An invoice with 100+ line items needed to have each of the those line items matched up against PO pricing, receiving and QC. It might take someone senior an hour or more to process a hard invoice, while a junior staffer can process a pizza order invoice very quickly.

        The sometimes problem with metrics is that they over-simplify things.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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