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Minimum wage pay for stand around time ..California

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  • Minimum wage pay for stand around time ..California

    HI Guys,

    This is my first post . I am a flat rate (paid by the job not by the hour) automotive technician. I recently heard that employers of California have to pay their flat rate employees minimum wage when they are punch on the clock but not working on a vehicle. Is this correct? I am not an independent contractor. I file a w2 with the company and we are not union.

    With the economy the way it is, work flow has changed drastically. Some days I will make 14 hours for an 8 hour day but then some days I will make 1 hour for an 8 hour day. On those 1 hour days, I had to except the fact I was not going to be getting paid but now i'm starting to wonder if this is correct. Can someone please help myself and my other fellow associates understand this. Thanks!

  • #2
    I am going to explain both federal and CA law. In both cases lets assume that Bob is physically at work 40 hours (8-8-8-8-8-0-0) because the employer says so, but that Bob is actually working on cars only 15 of those hours.
    - Under federal law only (FLSA), the employer must pay Bob an average of at least MW for the total hours worked in the workweek. 40 hours @ 7.25/hr equals $290. Lets say that for the 15 hours actually worked, the employee is paid $10/hr or $150. That means that under federal law the employer is required to pay an additional $140 for the remaining 25 hours to bring the aggregate up to minimum wage.
    - Under CA law only (CLC), the employer must pay Bob minimum wage for each and every hour worked. Meaning not an average on workweek. Meaning that if the employer still pays Bob $10/hr for those 15 hours actually worked, then the remaining 25 hours controlled by the employer but not actually worked must be paid at least $8/hr. CA law is quite different from federal in this and other areas.
    - More CA law differences. IF the employee is required to supply their own tools, THEN the employer is required to pay twice minimum wage ($16/hr). I am not certain if this is also true for standby time.
    - Lets say that Bob is "standing around" waiting for a job. If this is happening because the employer told Bob to, this is paid time. If instead Bob is just standing around looking for work, this is not paid time. It would be good to be clear on this point. Also CA rules are more pro-employee in this area then federal rules, although the federal rules are not bad in this area.

    While people sometimes say that CA rules override federal rules, it would be more accurate to say that both rules sets are 100% active, and the employee gets to choose which set of rules they want recourse under. That is mostly (but not always) the CA rules.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Thank You so much for your response DAW.

      A few more questions:

      When I get my paycheck and I was paid for 70 hours for an 80 hour pay period, the company under CA law should be paying me MW for the remaining 10 hours?

      When I am told by my boss that there is no work for me to do at the moment and to wait until the next appointment shows up, then I should be getting paid until that next appointment arrives?

      Where can I get more information on the tool MW and how that works?

      Thank You!

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      • #4
        When I get my paycheck and I was paid for 70 hours for an 80 hour pay period, the company under CA law should be paying me MW for the remaining 10 hours?

        A short answer is probably. A more complete answer would require me knowing exactly which hours you are talking about, which workweek the hours are in, and what you were doing. If CA-DLSE feels you were working, then CA-DLSE feels each hour worked must be paid at least MW. Which is not exactly your question. The problem with simple questions is that stuff gets left out. I do not know why your employer feels the 10 hours were unpaid. If I did know, I might agree with them.

        When I am told by my boss that there is no work for me to do at the moment and to wait until the next appointment shows up, then I should be getting paid until that next appointment arrives?

        If your boss is requring you to wait in the facility, then it is generally hours worked. If your boss is not requiring you to wait in the facility, then it is generally not hours worked.

        ------

        I am going to include a pointer to the CA-DLSE manual. Regarding the CA specific MW rules, start with reference 44.1.5, although you really need read all of chapter 44. Regarding the CA tool rules and MW, that is actually out in 45.5.7.
        http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Deductions.htm
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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