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salary to hourly Massachusetts

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  • salary to hourly Massachusetts

    i have a somewhat confusing situation. i have worked at a salon for the past two years as a receptionist/retail person. my initial pay was $10 hourly. a few months into my employment i was given a raise by way of being put on salary to the tune of $24000 a year, and being led to believe that i was going to be offered an assistant management position. i later learned that i was one of only two employees with that job description that were salaried employees and that all other employees of the same job description were making at least $12 per hour. realizing that i had basically been taken advantage of, and having two receptionists who had been there shorter periods of time be promoted to management over me, i asked if i could go back to hourly. i was told by the owner that the only way i could do that was if i went back to my original pay rate of $10 per hour.

    so my questions are these;

    1. can i even be considered an exempt employee given my job responsibilities?
    2. do i have any recourse regarding the hourly/salary debate?
    3. can different employees doing the same job be paid different rates?

  • #2
    At the risk of picking a nit, you did not actually tell us your job duties, you gave us some job titles, and Exempt status is not legally based on job titles. Exempt status is a function of taking a hard look at all job duties, and sometimes the industry. There are something like 100 or so Exempt classification although many are very industry specific. I am going to give pointers to some of the more common Exempt classifications. Since all I have to work with are some job titles, there is more then a little guessing here.

    Worry about the Exempt status first. Hourly/salary is way secondary and generally does not mean what people think it means. People for example often think that Salaried=Exempt and Hourly=Non-Exempt, but the law does not say that. Some Exempt employees are legally paid Hourly and many Non-Exempt employees are legally paid Salary.

    Regarding have people being paid differently for the same job, that is a "probably" legal. The act is not inherently illegal, but it can raise questions. The big question is obviously why the difference. If Bill does twice as much work as Jane, then of course Bill can and should be paid twice as much as Jane. If Bill gets paid more because he is the bosses son, still not necessarily illegal, but getting tacky. If Bill get paid more because he is a guy and Jane is not, then the Title VII law just got broken. But not of this is a function of some law saying that all people doing the same job must be paid exactly the same - no such law.

    White Collar exceptions.

    Inside Sales - Retail/Service establishments.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      ah, sorry. job duties are many and varied. i started out as a "front desk coordinator" which includes opening and closing procedures, cashiering, money handling, answering phones, booking appointments, basically keeping track of everything that goes on in the salon. i was then offered a move to the retail floor. come to realize all that meant was that i was expected to do everything i was already doing in addition to my new retail duties of product recommendations and demonstration, order processing, stocking, inventory management and the occasional makeup application. there was never anything solid to reflect this change in pay change or even job description change on my pay stub.


      • #4
        Sounds non-exempt, meaning you should be paid mimum wage and overtime on a workweek basis. Just to be clear, "salary" and "hourly" are just payment methods that do not mean much by themselves. It is perfectly legal for a non-exempt employee to be paid on a salaried basis. However a non-exempt employee, no matter what payment basis is used, must be paid at least minimum wage and overtime.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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