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going on salary without notice, please help! California

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  • going on salary without notice, please help! California

    Me and a friend are both chefs at a Restaraunt in California. We both were getting paid hourly and working 40 hours a week with overtime. Over the past two weeks we had to work a lot more due to a menu change, we worked 12days in a row and on average 10 or 11 hours a day. Today when we received our paychecks they were a lot less than what we deserved because it said we were on salary, but no one ever told us that they were doing so, I like my job but I feel this is just wrong and probably illegal, any help would be appreciated thank you

  • #2
    My understanding is, they can change you to salary, but they can not do it the way they did. You can not have a change in pay for hours that you have allready worked. I would contact your states Department of Labor, and then decide, if you want to work all this overtime, and not get paid above the salary pay. Patty, Ellie, and CBG know alot more about this than I do, maybe they can add something to this.


    • #3
      Whether or not you can be paid on straight salary depends on your job duties. If you did not qualify as an exempt employee before and your job duties have not changed, you're not going to qualify as an exempt employee now. Turbowray is correct that the state DOL is a good place to start.
      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.


      • #4
        Head chefs in fine restaurants can qualify as exempt, normally under the professsional classification. That's because they don't actually cook as much as they decide on menus, create new offerings, etc. (more of a "creative" position). Cooks, sous chefs, etc. normally cannot. I would note that this information is left over from my days in the restaurant industry (and remind me never to do that again).

        Now, OP, even if you do qualify as exempt, and they were treating you as nonexempt (overtime pay) before, they can certainly start treating you as exempt without your approval. However, if the change resulted in a decrease in pay (you didn't say there was a raise involved), California law requires the employer to notify you of this fact before you work the hours at the lower rate. And, do you make at least a weekly guaranteed salary of $520 ($640, effective Jan. 1, 2007)? Exempt employees in California must be paid a guaranteed salary of at least twice the minimum wage, based on an assumed 40-hour work week.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          thank you all for your support, I talked with the gm and they are fixing the check


          • #6
            Good to hear! It sounds like they didn't mean to make you salary, or did they? Good luck to you OP!!


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