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Medical Transcription- production pay Texas

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  • Medical Transcription- production pay Texas

    Hi. I am a medical transcriptionist who works inhouse, in an office at the hospital I am employed at. I get production pay for lines typed. I have some concerns about our pay. In addition to our "production" pay, we have a base pay that we are paid when we are on vacation or doing inservice things.

    We run out of work sometimes. When this happens we are not allowed to leave the office.. we have to sit here and wait for any available work.. however they are not paying us .. they say we can take "vacation time" to cover it. Well, I have used up all my vacation time covering no work time. And I think they should be paying us.. we can't leave, we can't do "personal stuff".. we are sitting in the office. I believe we are "engaged to work" and should be getting our base pay at least.

    In addition, every morning I do a delivery of medical reports to another facility then where I work. I take the delivery and then report to my office. I am paid one hour base pay for the delivery, however, I am required to work another eight hours in the office. I think the delivery counts as me working 9 hours every day, and therefore I should get overtime. We NEVER get overtime, no matter how many hours we work.

    Should I call the Dept. of Labor? Do I have a case?

  • #2
    If your employer is requiring you to stay in their office, under federal law (FLSA) that is "engaged to wait" and is considered to be hours worked.

    Overtime under federal law (FLSA) is hours worked past 40 in the workweek. This would include "engaged to wait" time.

    Start keeping your own time records at home. Pen and paper works fine.

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.htm

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs23.pdf
    Last edited by DAW; 05-27-2014, 08:58 AM.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Texas doesn't have a daily overtime ( OT), only weekly. So no, you wouldn't get OT for 9 hours in one day unless you work more than 40 hours in one workweek.

      They can however pay a different rate for "wait time" than they do for productive time as long as it is at least minimum wage.
      Here is a link to the TX rules (which do bring in the federal DOL rules): http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte...call_time.html I do agree that it does sound like your wait time should be compensated.

      Do you have any type of contract or agreement that states that all production pay is meant to cover wait time pay? If you do, it is possible that they are covering minimum wage through that process. You would take the pay you got and divide by the # of hours worked (counting anything over 40 at 1.5 times). If you didn't work enough they would have to guarantee you the $7.25 per hour for regular hours and $10.88 per OT hour). See : http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte...greements.html regarding pay agreements. And Texas is pretty strong in requiring employers to stick to the agreement. If there was not a published on that states this payment method, you will have a stronger case on what the hourly rate you were working for was.

      The links I am providing come from the TWC Employer Handbook and it is a great resource for almost any issue but does talk more from an employer perspective.
      Last edited by hr for me; 05-27-2014, 11:25 AM.

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      • #4
        Thanks

        Thanks for the answers. To make it more clear, I work at least 40 hours per week in the office, plus the 5 hours per week "delivery" time. I usually work many extra hours, and weekends, to make up for the time that we are sitting here in the office earning nothing. We are paid only our "production rate" which is 10 cents per line of type, and nothing for the time spent sitting in the office. We have a minimun amount of typed lines we have to do each pay period. We earn a base salary of $14 an hour if we have to do an inservice or we go on vacation.

        I am debating whether to call the Dept. of Labor to ask for them to investigate how we are being paid. The Dept of Labor does that, right?

        Comment


        • #5
          DOL (federal or state) is not going to "investigate" this. What you can do is file a wage claim with either federal DOL or TX TWC(?). This is called a wage/hour claim. You are going to claim unpaid time. The employer will claim you are lying. The hearing officer gets to decide who they think is pretty. Your side of things would be stronger if you were keeping your own time accounting records. The employer does not have to pay you $14/hr to sit around, but they likely will have to pay MW.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

          Comment


          • #6
            The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) would be the one you would file a wage claim with. Since you are paid differently than hourly (by production), I would suspect there is a written pay agreement somewhere that covers down time and things like delivery time. The TWC will want to see that and also see a record of what you were paid vs the hours you worked (or were "waiting to work"). Hopefully you have kept private records.

            I see about a 50/50 chance and it will all depend on whether there is a written wage agreement detailing how you are paid overall and whether they can prove you knew that was the arrangement you were working under. I have personally written and implemented one, but still make sure that none of the employees under it ever go under Minimum wage or OT minimums. So there are legal pay agreements out there that cover "non-productive" or "non-direct work" time.

            Comment

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