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Vague salaried employee - pay docking threats Texas

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  • Vague salaried employee - pay docking threats Texas

    I work in a salaried-exempt position for a company involved in real estate and international commerce, and was recently sent an e-mail (sent to the whole company) from our Masthead, the owner's wife and president. In it, there were vague threats about pay being docked if doctor's excuses weren't provided, which seems legal, except it was in reference to partial days, which I read the FLSA to prohibit. Also, I found it especially galling after February, when I worked 18 days in a row, working toward our goal of implementing a warehouse management system. I have no real problem with working long hours, or even the low-ish pay, I like the company, but its lack of real HR support is disheartening. An example of the kind of behavior that discourages me about my future here, and at the risk of identifying my company (to the right eyes...), today we were instructed to not occupy certain portions of the parking lot, by the president again, while her car sits in the handicapped spot outside, as it does almost every day...
    If necessary, I can post the content of the e-mail, as it is just as vague as can be.

  • #2
    Print out a hard copy of the email obviously and take it home with you. Past that point, they have not (yet) taken an illegal action against you. They might not. I have seen "whoops" company wide memos sent before that ended up being a lot about nothing in the end. Unless this is a a small company or you think that you personnally are being targetted for some reason, my inclination is to take no action until it becomes an actual issue. It is not all that unusual for senior management to not have a clue what they are talking about in these situations, and it is sometimes easier for them to back down if no one gets in their face. If/when it becomes a real issue, the FLSA regulation which controls Salaried Exempt handling is 29 CFR 541.602
    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti.../Chapter_V.htm

    Also, we need to be clear that under federal rules (FLSA) that "docking" (reducing the actual salary paid) of a Salaried Exempt pay is something legally very different then reducing the vacation/PTO balance in response to partial days worked. Some people (incorrectly) use the term "docking" to describe both situations.

    -----

    Parking per se is not an issue I feel comfortable addressing. I can say that a certain percentage of employers are not worth working for. If this is one of those, update your resume and move on. You will probably have a lot of company amoung your co-workers.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you, Daw. You might have noticed there were two of these threads, the post seemed to fail the first time, the state got reset in the form, so I edited the title down a bit and reposted. The other one was then edited for additional info and clarity. Here it is:
      ottopalindrome
      I work in a salaried-exempt position for a company involved in real estate and international commerce, and was recently sent an e-mail (sent to the whole company) from our Masthead, the owner's wife and president. In it, there were vague threats about pay being docked if doctor's excuses weren't provided, which seems legal, except it was in reference to partial days, which I read the FLSA to prohibit. Also, I found it especially galling after February, when I worked 18 days in a row, working toward our goal of implementing a warehouse management system. I have no real problem with working long hours, or even the low-ish pay, I like the company, but its lack of real HR support is disheartening. An example of the kind of behavior that discourages me about my future here, and at the risk of identifying my company (to the right eyes...), today we were instructed to not occupy certain portions of the parking lot, by the president again, while her car sits in the handicapped spot outside, as it does almost every day... I might add here that my car is so dilapidated I would feel guilty parking it in the lot at all, so this 'rule' has no real effect on me.
      If necessary, I can post the content of the e-mails, as it is just as vague as can be.
      Edit: now, we've been given another condition under which we (almost all salary here) could be sent home and docked pay - not having a planner on our person all the time. I also failed to mention before, we do not have sick time, paid time off, or any other bank from which to draw our pay, which fact also lends itself to the idea they cannot legally dock partial days, nor full days when we are already present and working.

      Comment


      • #4
        If the time off falls under FMLA, then it may be docked even in partial day increments. Otherwise, it may not. They can send you home or refuse to allow you to work if you forget your planner. It may be a stupid rule, but it is legal.

        It isn't illegal to make threats, and since it was vague, it may be that you are misinterpreting it. Until they actually dock your salary for a partial day absence, they are clear.

        If you dislike the hours, policies, owner, and pay, what exactly do you like about the place enough to stay there?
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          I just responded to the OTHER of this thread. I'm going to lock the other one so that the answers all stay in one place.
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            I suppose I'm rather stretched lately, but I found this so offensive, it just seemed wholly unreasonable, and likely not entirely lawful. I read the pertinent portions of the FLSA linked above, and currently no written processes exist with regard to the planners, though I would expect that would be remedied soon. If it were, I would probably (re)gain a measure of faith in their ability to be responsible and go about things in a correct manner.

            Comment


            • #7
              Tuesday I was fired for discussing the FLSA with a coworker. I know he can't claim that as cause, is there anything else I should know about this, though?

              Comment


              • #8
                You are going to provide more details than this. What were you discussing? Who were you discussing it with? What reason was given for your termination?
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My boss called me Monday (the day we received our employee handbooks) to 'warn' me about another coworker, and to 'stay out of her lookup games' (I haven't the slightest idea what he was specifically referring to, but it probably stems from her recent spate of doctor appointments.) I had e-mailed her the relevant portions of the FLSA for reference, because when I started this thread, we had no written policies, ergo the kinds of payroll deductions he was referring to would have been illegal. I felt much better about the policies when they were presented to me, almost exactly a week after the e-mail that started this all. It turns out that the thing that set him off (I can only infer this, as he didn't specifically address it) was that I sent the emails referenced in my first post to myself, and in the subject line I added 'labor law violations'. Of course, he has rights to the e-mail accounts for his company on his servers, so apparently he read them, but I honestly didn't think secrecy was necessary. Then, Tuesday morning, the boss calls me, asks nonchalantly about my personal email address (which doesn't reveal my identity directly) and when I reply that it is mine, he just blew up "You think I'm stupid?! If you don't like the way I do things, you can pack you s*** and get the f*** out. You'd better have a good apology for me when I get in there!" Meanwhile, I kept calmly telling him that "Coworkers discussing labor laws is a vanilla conversation." I must've said it three or four times, and he kept hollerin' at me, trying to drown me out. Then he asked me if I wanted to apologize to him when he got there or not, I said "Hmmmmm...." and he said "You're fired, pack up your s*** and get out."
                  Mind you, I don't mind the yelling, and this will go down as 'fired for no cause', and I've already applied for unemployment... I just thought maybe firing someone for something so innocuous would also be illegal. I also heard from an unreliable source that maybe the reason he exploded was that he's already being investigated by the State department of Labor.
                  Last edited by ottopalindrome; 03-29-2007, 09:25 AM. Reason: left out one letter, which one is unimportant

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, falsely accusing him of violating the law using your own personal email address on company computers could be a valid reason to fire you. Mind you I'm not saying it is a very good one, just that the law doesn't prohibit this.
                    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.

                    Comment

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