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question on pay in Arizona

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  • question on pay in Arizona

    i have recently started working for a company and i was wondering if somebody could help me with some questions. i work in warranty service and have to travel from job to job in a company truck. the company does not pay me the time it takes to drive from one job to another and sometimes they are as far as 90 miles apart so i end up working 12-14 hours in a day but only get paid for this legal in az?

    also they pay me sometimes in piece pay and sometimes hourly. is this legal?

  • #2
    Since you mentioned being paid either on piece work or hourly, I'm assuming you are a nonexempt employee. As such, travel between job sites during the day is compensable time.

    Can you explain more about your compensation plan? I don't want to read anything into your question that may not be there.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      basically i go to the shop in the morning to turn in my paperwork from the previous day and load up the materials i will need to do both my piece pay jobs and my hourly jobs for that day.this time at office is not paid either. i then drive to my first hourly job and begin being paid at the time of arrival, when i finish that job i am then off the clock until i arrive at the next job and so on and so on. if i arrive at a job that nobody is home at i am paid nothing for my time.

      the hourly jobs are for warranty items and the piece jobs are for installs


      • #4
        The paperwork time and the loading of materials time is also compensable and is considered "hours worked".

        Regarding your compensation plan, that is legal as long as you are paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked (and that includes the travel time you referenced earlier, plus the prep time you mentioned in your response) and overtime at 1.5 times what is called the "regular rate of pay" for any hours in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.

        Let's use an example.

        Worked = 50 hours
        2 installs @ $100/ea = $200
        30 hours at hourly rate of $8/hr = $240
        Preliminary gross pay = $200 + $240 = $440
        Regular rate of pay = $440 / 50 hrs = $8.80/hr (we're OK so far, since this is higher than minimum wage)
        Overtime = 10 hrs @ $8.80 * .5 = $176 (straight time portion of OT already included in above calculation)
        Total gross pay = $$440 + $176 = $616

        Now if the calculated "regular rate of pay" is less than minimum wage (which in Arizona is $7.25/hr), then the minimum gross pay you would have to receive in the above situation is:

        40 hrs @ $7.25 = $290
        10 hrs @ $7.25 * 1.5 = $108.75
        Total due $398.75

        Hope this helps.

        If the employer is not paying as we have discussed, you can file a claim for unpaid wages/overtime with the ICA.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          i now have been terminated by this company. i dont have a problem with the termination because i made a mistake. a piece of their equipment fell out of the back of their truck and before i realized it was gone somebody had already picked it up. this is embarrasing but it was an honest mistake however it was my mistake and i can except that. however they are now telling me that they are keeping my last two paychecks to pay for this piece of equipment. i never signed anything or agreed in any way that i was financially responsible for this equipment. is it legal for me to have worked the last two weeks and not get paid for any of it?


          • #6
            The short answer, is file a wage claim with the state. It works or it does not.

            The longer answer goes like this. Under federal rules only, the employer can legally take the deduction (but not hold the check) as long as the deduction does not reduce wages below minimum wage or paid overtime. This is what federal rules call a "for the benefit of the employer" type of deduction.

            States can also have their own rules on deductions. State rules can be more favorable to the employee, but cannot be less favorable then the federal rules. The federal rules are basically a "floor" that no state can make go away. Your state is not my state, and I do not know what rules (if any) your state has on deductions. Perhaps another responder knows this. I can say that there is no chance that holding the checks is legal.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


            • #7
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


              • #8
                first thank you both for your replies

                my wife and i both read the link and we disagree on what it says. if you wouldnt mind helping with clerification

                "An employer may only withhold an employee’s wages when the employer is required by state or federal law, the employer has the employee’s prior written authorization, or there is a reasonable good faith dispute as to the amount of wages due, including the amount of any counterclaim, reimbursement, recoupment or set-off asserted by the employer."


                • #9
                  1. "Required by state or federal law" - taxes, tax liens, child support, etc.
                  2. "Prior written authorization" - self-explanatory.
                  3. "Good faith dispute" - This is where it gets tricky. Generally speaking, this would include such things as a disagreement about when commissions are "earned" or whether a bonus is due. But generally speaking, this has to do more with earnings than with deductions.

                  If you were involuntarily terminated, your paycheck was due within 3 days. Once that time has passed, you can file a claim with the ICA for unpaid wages.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


                  • #10
                    thank you very much for all your help


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