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  • Pay for diagnostics West Virginia

    We are automotive master technicians working for a major automobile manufacturer. This manufacturer has decided to be more consumer friendly and is now offering free computerized dianostics to its customers. Here is where the problem lay we work flat rate, so if we are not working we are not earning any pay. Our employer has the idea that since the customers can not be charged for the diagnostics, we will not be paid for the time we work on the vehicle doing diagnostics. Is this even possible to require us to work without pay?
    Thankyou in advance
    Master Technicians

  • #2
    The law requires only that your gross pay, when divided by your hours worked in the workweek, equal at least minimum wage.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      I think your missing the idea of "flat rate", if I for instance have a bad week and only work on 15 cars for a total of 15 hours I only get paid for 15 hours no more no less. On the other hand if my week is good those 15 cars could be worth 40+ hours. Only that work that is completed is paid.

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      • #4
        How many hours are you required to be at the shop? Are you allowed to leave when you aren't working?
        I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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        • #5
          As Patty asked, is your gross pay when divided by the hours you do work in
          the workweek (however many hrs. that might be) equal to minimum wage?
          Last edited by Betty3; 01-12-2011, 09:25 PM.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            I'm not missing the idea at all. I know exactly what you're talking about. And my answer still applies.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              OK Patty but our wage is not based on clocked time were we work. so how can we figure if it is or is not equal to minimum wage. I might bring home a pay check this pay period(2wks) for 100hrs at $20/hr and turn aroud next period and only bring a check with 52hrs.
              Last edited by MasterTech; 01-12-2011, 11:19 PM.

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              • #8
                Yes, you do know what you are talking about. That's why I asked the question
                again re is OP ending up with min. wage for hrs. worked in the workweek.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                • #9
                  You do exactly as Betty3 and I already said. You add up all the hours you work, which is all the hours you are required to be at work, whether you are working on a billable job, a nonbillable job, washing cars, or merely sitting around waiting for a job to come in to work on. You divide that into your gross pay for the workweek. If the result is at least minimum wage, the law has been complied with.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    MasterTech, your last post wasn't there yet when I started my prior post. We
                    were typing at the same time but you got your post submitted off first. I was
                    talking to Patty.

                    You calculate as Patty (& I noted).

                    & Patty, your last post wasn't there when I started this post.
                    Last edited by Betty3; 01-12-2011, 11:25 PM.
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I understand what you are getting at, however through all this I think we kind of passed by the question. Since I get paid piece wage can they legally make me work on something without pay.
                      Last edited by MasterTech; 01-12-2011, 11:30 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I think maybe you're missing the point. IF MW is being met, you are NOT working without pay.
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                        • #13
                          OP, I believe I understand your disconnect here.

                          The people who have responded to you have given you the correct information from a wage and hour standpoint. You believe you have a pay arrangement that goes beyond those requirements.

                          Do you have a written contract specifying how you are to be paid? If so, I'd look at the verbage and see how your situation is addressed. If you do not have a contract, and it is only based on your understanding of how things are supposed to work, then the company is probably on solid ground from a wage and hour perspective is the hours you are required to be there end up being paid as described by the prior responders.

                          This is similar to those situations where an individual gets commissions, but essentially they are only paid out when they exceed minimum wage. Refer back to other responder's answers to calculate legal wage payment.

                          If you do not have a written contract or agreement, it may be appropriate to calmly ask for clarification so that future misunderstandings can be avoided. A steady job in a good work environment is a valuable thing, and good communication can help to preserve that.

                          Good luck in resolving this.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MasterTech View Post
                            I understand what you are getting at, however through all this I think we kind of passed by the question. Since I get paid piece wage can they legally make me work on something without pay.
                            What makes you think you are working w/o pay if you get min. wage for all hours
                            worked in the workweek?
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is a federal law called FLSA which is the applicable law here. The law does not say that each and every hour by itself must be paid minimum wage. The law says that on a workweek basis, average pay must equal at least minimum wage. This is very old, well established law, and federal DOL very specifically discusses piece work. The other answers are all correct as stated.

                              I understand that this is not what you want to hear, but it is the truth. States can do things differently. CA (for example) does. In CA each hour does indeed stand alone. But you are not in CA, and WV does not have such a rule.

                              ------

                              Minnesota (the person, not the state) raised a good point. There is a chance that your company has a formal contract that increases the FLSA requirements. Not a good chance, but a chance. It is worth looking at any published documents your company has. It is not possible for "contract law" to make "labor law" (FLSA) go away. Labor law always trumps contract law. But it is possible for contract law to create additional obligations. It just cannot make labor law requirements go away.
                              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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