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Temporary Closure...Compensation Questions Texas

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  • Temporary Closure...Compensation Questions Texas

    I work for a company that may temporarily close down for a period of a couple of weeks. Staff with vacation is being asked to use that during the closed period. Most people do not have enough vacation to cover the entire period of closure. The company is considering NOT paying staff during this period. Those with available vacation time would be "the lucky ones."

    What are the wage laws in regards to this?

    The company is considering not paying HOURLY and SALARIED employees, including managers. The closure would be manadatory, in that they would not allow anyone to work no matter what their position or role.

    This would impact well over 240 employees.

    Any information would be appreciated!
    Last edited by texas003; 11-13-2008, 01:10 PM.

  • #2
    I do not think the employer is obligated to pay anyone just because they are closing the location due to lack of work. If there is no work, there is no income, and therefore, probably no money to be paying people with.

    Those with vacation time enough to cover the closure are indeed, lucky, and the money is probably coming from whatever the employer has saved-up to cover the business expenses during this closure.

    Those that don't have accumulated time can file for unemployment benefits, as this does seem like a lay-off situtation.

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    • #3
      If you have contracts, someone needs to read the contract. My answer is going to address labor law only, not contract law.

      Past that there are several groups of employees for whom a degree of special handling is indicated.
      - Exempt Salaried employees have docking restrictions on their salary. No employer was ever forced to make an employee Exempt Salaried, but employers do so to get unpaid overtime. However that unpaid overtime legally comes at a price and that is a docking restriction on the salary. You need to find out exactly when your company's workweek is. This can be different for every company and no one on this website will have a clue what your company's workweek is. Part of the 541.602 rules state that Exempt Salaried employees can generally be docked for entire workdays voluntarily not worked or entire workweeks involuntarily not worked. That is another way of saying that if the employee works even a minute during the workweek, the employee cannot be docked for time involuntarily not worked in that workweek.
      - Non-Exempt Salaried employees are for most purposes the same as any other Non-Exempt employee. The "salary" by itself generally does not mean anything. However there are several obscure, rarely used payment methods (Fluctuating Workweeks, Belo Plans) that also have docking restrictions. I have never had to mess with those and I am not sure how they would be effected with a scheduled closure. But unless you actually are using one of these plans, and you probably are not, this should not be a big deal.

      Past that, other types of employees are paid based on hours worked. No hours worked, no pay due.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        I have a similar question. Same situation, company closing for two week with no pay over the holiday. This decision came about as a cost-cutting measure. All employees, regardless of status, are required to take the time off with the exception of a few employees needed to maintain critical operations. In addition, after work resumes, we are being required to work a 4 day work week indefinitely.

        My concern is that since I am not an employee and am not paid by the company directly, how this would apply to me. The agency I work for is stating that all contractors must participate in the shutdown as well as the 4 day work week following, but when I accepted this project there was no mention of a shutdown or a reduced work week. If there had been, I would not have accepted the position as it would not have met my requirements financially.

        My options at this time seem to be either to stick it out and eventually not be able to pay my bills and face financial problems, or find another job (which at this time is more than difficult considering the economy). I have requested that the agency find me a short-term project in the meantime, but have not gotten another response from them.

        My questions are whether as a contractor, I can be required to participate in the shutdown and work-hour reduction since I am not an employee; whether I am eligible to collect unemployment for this period and afterwards with the loss of 20 percent of my income. I would hate to find another job since I have been very happy with this project, but I cannot meet my bills with the work reduction.

        Any suggestions?

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        • #5
          Are you an employee of temporary staffing agency? Or an independent contractor?

          If an employee, you could file for unemployment for those two weeks, although I think there is a one-week waiting period in Texas.

          The agency (or even the client company) may not have made the decision to shut down over the holidays at the time you were hired. You follow the rules of the client company. You can't work just because you want to. I can tell you though, if you quit the assignment (assuming through an agency) over this, don't count on UI benefits.

          Having said all this, next time please start your own thread. Your questions are similar but there are differences.
          Last edited by Pattymd; 12-17-2008, 10:01 AM.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            I work for a temp agency. I am halfway through my project and am very happy with the assignment except for the recent changes. I thought that I might be able to claim UI for the two weeks, but what about for the work-hour reduction? I can continue to work a 4-day work week but it is only a matter of time before I would not be able to afford to do so. Then what? Can I file for the loss of the one day per week? It is a significant amount of money out of my budget.

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            • #7
              You have different issues. PLEASE start your own thread for follow-up questions.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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