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Disciplinary Wage Reduction in California

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  • Disciplinary Wage Reduction in California

    I manage a small tutoring center in California, and I have been having difficulty getting some of my employees to write session reports. All of my employees are hourly.

    During the tutoring sessions, our instructors write a short note (usually about five sentences) to be emailed to the parents detailing what went on during the session. Some of my instructors choose not to do them during the session, preferring instead to write them on their own time (at the end of the day, at home, etc, though I encourage them to write them during the session...I don't press the issue) We tell our clients that the session notes will be emailed out the following day, but I have a couple of instructors who sometimes don't do them for several days or even a week. It's very important that these session logs get written in a timely manner, and I am at my wits end as to how to motivate them to do it!

    My question:

    I would like to introduce a policy that docks my employees 1% of their paycheck for each morning I come in and the previous days' session logs have not been completed. Is that legal? Would it be legal for me to dock them for x% of the session which did not have the log written? Would it also be legal for me to redistribute that money to the instructors who do the session logs on time?
    Last edited by theodorelogan; 04-30-2014, 06:36 PM.

  • #2
    You can reduce pay rates going forward but not retroactively. Reducing pay rarely works as well as you hope. Offering a bonus for those who complete all their notes might be a better method. As would following your disciplinary policy for those who do not comply. Treat it as any other duty an employee refuses to do.
    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.


    • #3
      Agreed. Past that, you MUST pay minimum wage and you MUST pay overtime. Lets say that Bob normally is paid $10/hr. MW is $7.25 federal and lets say that Bob's state is the same. I must pay Bob at least MW (FLSA) and I must pay Bob what was agreed (Common Law). But if I on a go forward basis agree to pay Bob MW of $7.25/hr, plus an optional non-discretionary bonus of $2.75/hr, based on specific conditions, this is legal if done correctly.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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