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Whole bunch of stuff Wisconsin

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  • Whole bunch of stuff Wisconsin

    I have a few questions. I work for a towing company who operates 24/7. I work strictly off commission and am required on certain nights to bring the truck home and be on call. On call meaning I have a company provided cell phone but if the phone rings and I have to go help a motorist and I have to drop whatever I am doing and go help. Meaning I really cant go out to dinner, hence if my phone rings I gotta go. Now my questions. They have fired an employee and now are expecting 4 guys to cover 24/7. Is there any law from refusing to take on any extra hours? I had a set schedule I liked it now they are trying to get me to work 48+ hours straight at one time. When I say straight I mean at night I take the truck home but am on call. I am required to sit at the shop from 8 am to 5 pm. During this time I dont make any money unless I get a tow call. I dont get defined break periods. So if Im eating lunch and I get a call, I gotta go. Second question. Are they required by law to pay me for hours worked if I have to sit at the shop and wait for calls. They dont let the drivers sit at home with the tow truck during business hours. Any help with these matters would be great considering I can never find anything pertaining to this is the law books.
    Last edited by hutzie; 02-22-2009, 07:02 PM. Reason: Mispelled

  • #2
    I have given you a pointer to the federal FLSA regulation. There is a problem however. This is old law, circa 1940. Since the regulation has been around sixty some years this means that federal DOL and the courts have been addressing this issue for a long time. This rule lacks what is called a "bright line test", meaning that in in theory a judge or ALJ will look to prior decisions to see how other decisions have gone. Since we have sixty some years of prior decisions, there is a lot of history out there. Federal DOL has tended to call this very closely and most of the decisions have gone against the employee.

    Now I am not saying that you cannot win, just that this is legally quite unclear. You personally need to look at tow truck operator decisions, which I do not know (never have driven a tow truck before). While I have access to a number of on-call related decisions, none of them relate to tow trucks.

    This is the best I can do for you. It might be worth filing a wage claim with state DOL. It works or it does not. Better yet, if the terminated employee is a friend of yours, have him do it.

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...9CFR785.17.htm
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Is there any law from refusing to take on any extra hours? If you mean some law that says you can refuse what you think is an unreasonable work schedule and have protection from being fired, the answer is no.

      I had a set schedule I liked it now they are trying to get me to work 48+ hours straight at one time. Wisconsin requires "one day of rest in seven" but does not limit the number of hours one can work outside of that.

      I dont get defined break periods. So if Im eating lunch and I get a call, I gotta go. Wisconsin doesn't require that any breaks be provided.

      Are they required by law to pay me for hours worked if I have to sit at the shop and wait for calls. Probably not, as long as the commissions you are receiving average out to at least minimum wage for all the time you're engaged or waiting to be engaged. Commissions are tricky though and an area of wage and hour laws that I'm not all that conversant with. I suggest you contact the Department of Workforce Development (WI's DOL) and discuss this with them.

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