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Need to know if a company can hold wages until every third month

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  • Need to know if a company can hold wages until every third month

    This scenario applies to full-time employees receiving hourly wages.

    Our company pays us on the 15th and last day of every month. Regardless of the number of days in the month, we are always paid for 80 hours (or, 10 days) on each paycheck. Mathematically... under this method of payment, we would only be paid for 48 weeks of work over the course of a year. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, we are entitled to payment for the 4 weeks of difference. To correct this offset, our company divides and pays out 1 of the 4 weeks in every quarter (or, 3-month time frame).

    So, my paycheck goes as follow:
    Jan - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    Feb - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    Mar - paid for 5 weeks (or, 25 days)
    Apr - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    May - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    Jun - paid for 5 weeks (or, 25 days)
    Jul - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    Aug - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    Sep - paid for 5 weeks (or, 25 days)
    Oct - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    Nov - paid for 4 weeks (or, 20 days)
    Dec - paid for 5 weeks (or, 25 days)
    Total: 52 weeks

    And, by accounting purposes, this seems to resolve the bean-counting dilemma.

    But... something about the company holding on to wages until the end of every 3rd month bothers me. And, makes me question the legality of it. Because... subtracting 8 days of weekends from every month, I get:

    Jan having 23 day of work.
    Feb has 20.
    Mar has 23.
    Apr has 22.
    May has 23. (And, so on...)

    This means... If Jan has 23 working days and I was only paid for 20, well then... I got shorted 3 days of pay for that month. Multiply 3 days by 8 hours by my hourly wage-rate, and I am coming up short a few hundred dollars at the end of Jan. And March. And April. And, every other month with the exception of February.

    Yes, over the course of the year, I eventually get fully compensated, but there in lies the dilemma for me: it takes the full course of ONE YEAR for me to be fully compensated instead of being paid my hours worked over the course of ONE MONTH. Or, going further, being compensated my hours worked over the course of ONE PAYCHECK.

    Advice? Opinions? Enlightenments?

  • #2
    This sounds like being paid a salary (not hourly) on a semi-monthly basis. Which would not inherently be illegal or uncommon. Listing hours on a paystub does not by itself make someone hourly. Most payroll systems routinely list hours no matter what the employee's classification is.

    A better set of questions are if you are Exempt or Non-Exempt? And if you are Exempt, under which FLSA exception? And if you are Non-Exempt, are you being paid minimum wage and overtime?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      We are definitely NOT salary. We were hired on as hourly. And, we get paid for the hours we work; and, on days that we miss, we don't get paod. And, we get paid overtime. No salary in the mix here.

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      • #4
        OK. It is legally possible for someone to be paid salary and still be eligible for overtime. Payment methods (hourly, salaried, others) are mostly legally unrelated to the exempt classification. And it still sounds like you are being paid Non-Exempt Salaried, probably under the 29 CFR 778.113 method.
        http://payroll-taxes.com/articles/sa...ernatives.html

        However, since you are certain that you are being paid hourly, then I am fine with taking you at your word. If you are not being paid for hours worked, then file a wage claim with your state DOL. Assuming your state actually has a DOL. If not, then you are probably talking some type of court action.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by arena2012 View Post

          Yes, over the course of the year, I eventually get fully compensated, but there in lies the dilemma for me: it takes the full course of ONE YEAR for me to be fully compensated instead of being paid my hours worked over the course of ONE MONTH. Or, going further, being compensated my hours worked over the course of ONE PAYCHECK.

          Advice? Opinions? Enlightenments?
          I won't deal with the legality issue, since it is the principle of the thing that you seem most concerned about. You are mis-interpreting the math of this. You seem to think it takes a year to balance things out. To put this in perspective for you (and hopefully make you feel better), very few jobs pay you up to the date of the day you receive your pay. Most I've been involved with pay bi-weekly, up to the end of the previous week, so I'll use that as an example; other examples are similar except for day workers who often get paid in cash at the end of each day.

          On the bi-weekly schedule, employees are usually paid up to the end of the preceding week meaning that working a normal schedule with no overtime, they have always worked 40 hours (or 5 days) that are not included in the current paycheck.

          In the example you provide (and keep in mind, the actual number of workdays in each month varies a little with the year) at the end of January you have been paid for 20 days and worked 23. (worked 3 days more than paid). At the end of Feb, you have been paid for 40 days and worked 43 (worked 3 days more than paid). At the end of March you have been paid for 65 days and worked 66 (worked 1 day more than paid). You can run this out through the year if you wish. You'll find that you are better off than the bi-weekly example. Quite likely you are ahead or at worst case even with most others.

          So, I don't think you have an unfair deal. You are just letting a couple of assumptions get you riled up for nothing.
          Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

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