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Thread: working to much overtime Texas

  1. #1
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    Default working to much overtime Texas

    I am a Juvenile Corrections Officer in the Texas Youth Commission, for the last 3 months I and my coworkers have been required to work 12 + hour shifts. We normally work 40 hours a week. We are salaried workers but get paid for overtime. We are currently working 54 plus hours a week, the job is stressful dealing with the incarcerated youth and some coworkers are suffering health issues; heart attacks, strokes, When we request time off, most of the time we do not get it. We consistently work 4 hours over into our day off and have to come in 4 hours early the next day. Is this legal, is there a required amount of time off between work periods? TYC also holds 80 hours of overtime back. They pay us any overtime over the 80 hours monthly. Is this legal?

  2. #2
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    This is going to be a soft answer, because you have a governmental employer. You have two very different issues here.
    - Employers with very few exceptions can generally work any employee whatever hours the employer's want. What restrictions exists are generally for things such as minor children employees or airline pilots. I am not a TX expert or a governmental employer expert. I can say that governmental employers tend to have even weaker rules then private sector employers. And the private sector rules in this area tend to be very weak.
    - Paying overtime for governmental employers is complicated, but not in the way you describe. There is a potential "comp time" exception for governmental employers but it does not sound like what you describe. I will give you a pointer to the general local governmental employer rules, but what you are saying on the payment of overtime does not sound correct.
    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs7.pdf

    Not your question, but are you union? If so, you really need to talk to your union. Your questions sound like the sorts of things I would expect a union contract to address.
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  3. #3
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    I am not in a union, and TYC does not do comp time any more.
    Last edited by LShaw; 04-29-2010 at 06:32 AM.

  4. #4
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    I take it you meant that the TYC does not provide for comp time in lieu of overtime any longer.

    Generally speaking, overtime must be paid no later than the pay period following the one in which it has been earned.

    Give the TWC a call.
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  5. #5
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    Default Here's the rub--

    Quote Originally Posted by Pattymd View Post



    Give the TWC a call.
    The TWC enforces the Texas Payday Law, which specifically exempts from coverage employees of any governmental subdivision. They don't have jurisdiction to rule on any pay issue for State employees.

    FLSA doesn't dictate when overtime must be paid, to my knowledge, and if it did, I imagine DOL would put that question to the bottom of the pile, so long as overtime is being paid.

    Texas prison guards (and, I guess TYC guards) are notoriously overworked, and understaffed. That's two edges of a sword that exacerbate each other.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info, Texas.
    Seems that is pretty common in the states. Too bad.
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  7. #7
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    And, in most situations, 54 hours a week is not considered excessive.
    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.

  8. #8
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    Default Feeding at the public trough---

    Quote Originally Posted by Pattymd View Post
    Seems that is pretty common in the states. Too bad.
    Yeahbut,

    Patty, we all know that public employees are held to a different standard. You've been there, and I just keep coming back.

    In Texas, non-exempt employees, for example, must be paid at least semi-monthly--unless you work for the State. I'm not surprised that L Shaw and his cohort get overtime only monthly--and after an additional month processing time--that's the way we're all paid, if we get overtime. Most State employees get comp time, and we're glad to have it!

    Echoing cbg's comment, TYC officers seem to have a somewhat better deal than TDC officers, who are working 60+ hours a week in proximity to some very bad dudes. The Texas prison system is no fun for those inside or outside.

  9. #9
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    I think the prison guards have it better. They get to carry pepper spray in case of assault, I work in a treatment facility, we do not get to carry anything but a radio. While I have not been hit with fists, I have had chairs, books, baskets, food hit me or thrown at me, but we cannot lay a hand on the youth unless they are assaulting someone or themselves, or causing major damage. Many of the youth where I work are on the last chance before going to prison. We have around 150 youth where I work and each year we send 2 or 3 straight to prison for continually assaulting staff. We almost always have 15 to 25 staff out with injuries at any given time. Last year we had the big incidents in the newspapers, I feel sorry for us because most of us follow the rules, but the people who run the agency keep covering things up. Add to this working too much and not getting paid all of our overtime, not getting vacation, we have good staff quitting.

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