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Docking non-exempt hourly workers Maryland

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  • Docking non-exempt hourly workers Maryland

    I run a small seasonal business that offers shipping and storage for college students. Often, I have to hire workers off craigslist, even if they may only work for 1 day. I recently hired 2 workers in this manner. I sent them off to do a few moving jobs at 11am, with the last move of the day being scheduled from 4-5pm. Meanwhile I spent the day buying various supplies.

    A few hours into my day I started receiving phone calls from customers saying that no one had arrived to move them out despite it being 2 hours past their scheduled time. I called my hired hands, and they made up pitiful excuses...including the claim that a colleague of mine had told them that the moves had already been done, which my colleague confirmed was a blatant lie. I berated my craiglist hires, and shortly after they apparently did show up to do a few moves...but not before one of my customers cancelled the service.

    In any case, my workers did complete their moves at more or less the prescribed time (5 o'clock). I told them to drive their truck to our storage facility, where they would have to wait until I arrived. At about 930 I arrived and sent them home. When asked about their day, they made up additional blatant lies about their inexcusable lateness that cost me money...and were being brats about it in general. They didn't work for me again.

    In theory, these guys were out from 11am-930pm. 10 and a half hours. But can I legally dock these hours to say, 5? The loss of profit on my end, combined with their lying, and the fact that no actual work was being done for longer than 5 hours in any case, makes me want to do that, though typically I would pay a worker for their wait time and so forth. But I'd like to teach these bums a lesson, if I can legally do so.

    fyi....though my business is seasonal and I often hire workers for just a day, pay is fully legitimate. they are not classified as independent contractors, they are non-exempt hourly employees.

  • #2
    You have to pay minimum wage, period, no exceptions for any reason. Federal law is very clear on that.

    Your state is not my state, so I am not certain how your state would react to paying less then a promised rae of pay. In theory if you formally strucure your payment regime AHEAD OF TIME to pay minimum wage plus an optional performance bonus, that is legal in all 50 states if done correctly. But in many states if I tell Bob his rate of pay is $10/hr and I pay less, those states will offer recourse to Bob. Of course, some states do not care if you cook Bob and eat him, much less fail to pay the agreed upon rate of pay.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)