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Forced to Split Hours With Other Employees/Mechanics? Illinois

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  • Forced to Split Hours With Other Employees/Mechanics? Illinois

    Hi. New here. So I was just laid off from my job as a mechanic at an auto dealer (it was in Chicago, Illinois). Two years ago, when I got the job, I signed a contract that paired me with another mechanic, and all of our booked hours were pooled and then split 50/50. During the last two years, I worked way harder then my partner, and I regularly lost 40 to 50 hours per month because I had to split my hours with him. When I got laid off, the shop manager told me it was because there weren't enough hours to go around for all the mechanics in the shop (my partner was not laid off though).

    Was this type of hour splitting agreement legal? It doesn't seem fair.

  • #2
    I want to be sure I'm understanding you. As an example, if one week there were 50 booked hours of work, you would work 25 and he would work 25. Without that agreement you would have been able to work all 50. Is that what you're saying?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cbg View Post
      I want to be sure I'm understanding you. As an example, if one week there were 50 booked hours of work, you would work 25 and he would work 25. Without that agreement you would have been able to work all 50. Is that what you're saying?
      Here's how it would work:

      If I worked 50 hours worth of booked jobs, and he worked 30 hours of booked jobs, our time was then pooled and split 50/50...so I would get 40 hours, and he would get 40 hours.

      The form I signed when I started says (changing the names for privacy):

      "All hours booked between Jellob1976 and John Doe will be combined and split 50/50 and paid to both on a weekly basis"

      Both of us signed the same form.

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      • #4
        So you would work 50 hours and get paid for 40?
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          So you would work 50 hours and get paid for 40?
          Yeah. Every week they'd add up our hours and split them in half, and we each get half regardless of how many hours we worked.

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          • #6
            No, you must be paid for the hours you actually perform work. They can make you divide up the assignments so it is equal, but they can't pay you for only a portion of the hours you work. They could terminate you legally.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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            • #7
              Lets be clear here:
              • If we are talking federal law only (FLSA), you must be paid at least federal minimum wage ($7.25) for all hour worked, and overtime for hours worked past 40 in the workweek. The feds do not care even a little bit about base pay greater then minimum wage.
              • IL is not my state. It probably has its own rules and I do not know what those rules are.
              • There is a very small chance that contract law is involved. If you think this is the case, talk to a contract law attorney.
              • Small claims court are sort of like contract law. They are the only venue (mostly) that usually cares about unpaid wages in excess of MW/OT.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                ElleMD, there is a difference between booked hours and worked hours. If the car line decides a job takes 2 hours but you actually complete it in 1 hour, you are still paid the 2 hours. So it is possible for a tech have worked 40 hours but received 80 booked hours. In times when the shop is slow, the opposite is true.

                I know some states have rules about automotive techs (such as MA) but I am not sure about IL.

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                • #9
                  My thoughts are the same as HRinMA -- if there is a written compensation plan that has been signed and both employees are making at least minimum wage/OT for hours worked, how they split BOOKED hours can be up to that signed comp plan. Is it fair? No I wouldn't do it that way honestly, but he did sign this plan at hire. My question would be has there ever been a week where he has not made Min wage/OT for all hours worked?

                  For some reason this employer wanted to favor the first guy ( longer service perhaps) when they brought a 2nd guy on board. And in the end it was the 2nd guy that got laid off even though he sees himself as the better/harder worker. For some reason they don't.

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                  • #10
                    "Booked" hours is meaningless. They still must pay for each hour worked at a minimum. If they want to pay 2 hours for a job which was able to be completed in 1, so be it. But it sounds like pay is not being based on hours actually worked, nor is it more generous to the OP.
                    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                      "Booked" hours is meaningless. They still must pay for each hour worked at a minimum. If they want to pay 2 hours for a job which was able to be completed in 1, so be it. But it sounds like pay is not being based on hours actually worked, nor is it more generous to the OP.
                      But as hr for me said, as long as the minimum wage/OT requirements are being met, then no law has been broken.

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